Team Norwell to contest 2020 SST Australian schedule

by Justin Nguyen

With the 2020 Boost Mobile Super Trucks season opener right around the corner, the grid is beginning to take shape. On Thursday, Brett Murray of Speedcafe.com revealed Paul Morris and development driver Luke Vanna will run the upcoming schedule under the Team Norwell banner.

“Luke is a terrifically talented young driver who has developed to a point where he could be successful in anything he does,” Morris stated in the report.

The twenty-year-old Vanna (van Herwaarde) is a member of the Paul Morris Racing Academy, a school that prides itself as “Australia’s lesson program to develop and fine tune the skills of racing drivers.” In 2019, the academy débuted in the Toyota 86 Racing Series with Vanna, who works as an instructor, where he finished eleventh in points. He has also recorded starts in other Supercars Championship support series including the Aussie Racing Cars and SuperUtes.

The Gold Coast native initially planned to move up to the Super2 Series, but costs prompted him to commit to the Stadium Super Trucks; according to estimates from Speedcafe, an SST campaign is worth approximate $A240,000 (slightly over $162,000 USD), while a Super2 season is at least $A450,000 ($303,815 USD).

Morris, the 2017 SST champion, has been instrumental in its Australian growth; the series’ operations in the country, including corporate and logistics, are based at Paul Morris Motorsport‘s Norwell Motorplex. On Thursday, Morris conducted a test session at Queensland Raceway with Vanna, Shae Davies, Greg Gartner, and Paul Weel. Gartner has raced in SST since 2015, running the series’ Australian rounds, while Davies is a Super2 veteran with starts in Supercars in 2016 and 2017.

Weel, who last raced in Supercars in 2008, is scheduled to make his racing comeback with the trucks in 2020. He had confirmed his entry earlier in the day.

“Obviously the Stadium Super Truck is something completely different to anything most of us have grown up doing,” Vanna noted, “but they are a heap of fun and it is terrific racing which the fans love.”

Vanna will make his series début in late February at the season-opening Adelaide 500, a weekend that will also feature the American SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks in a crossover event. The 2020 season finale for both championships will be a hometown race for Vanna at the Gold Coast 600.

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