400 Thunder Sportsman season opener set to fire up Springmount Raceway

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Daniel Morris Photo by Grant Stephens

Over 140 drag racing teams will be converging on North Queensland’s Springmount Raceway for the opening round of the 2018/19 400 Thunder Sportsman Series this Friday and Saturday, August 3-4.

Joining the convoy of racers from around the country heading north to do battle with the Springmount locals is Top Sportsman driver Daniel Morris. The Brisbane-based competitor finished second in last season’s 400 Thunder championship, just ten points away from series winner Steve Fowler.

Morris is aiming to make amends at Springmount, a track he has never driven his 260kmh Holden Statesman at before.

“From what I have seen in photos and reports from our friends, Springmount Raceway has a good track surface,” he said. “The elevation (550m) is something we will have to get used to, but everybody is in the same boat. We will do some jetting changes to pull some fuel out of the motor to make sure it runs right.”

North Queensland feels right at home for Morris, who first got started in drag racing when he watched his Dad race street cars in Townsville.

“I followed him and my mates all had similar interests,” he said. “I crewed for a few cars and then got my own car to race in 2012, a Holden Torana. It didn’t take us long to step up; 12 months later we had the Statesman.”

Top Sportsman will feature some of the quickest cars of the 400 Thunder Sportsman Series, racing on a ‘dial-your-own’ handicap system where racers nominate their handicap to suit their car’s performance.

“Top Sportsman has some of the toughest bracket racers in the country and it is certainly a challenge,” he said. “We are happy to stay in this class; we have a lot of fun.”

While Morris’ performances can hardly been criticised given last season’s second place, he said he would like to brush up on his start line reaction times to ensure he gets the jump on his opponents.

“I want to be a bit more consistent with my lights (reaction times),” he said. “The car is pretty good at being consistent, so I just need to tune myself up a bit.

“The plan is to run for the 400 Thunder Top Sportsman Championship once again. We are probably going to miss a round at the end of the year because the engine is due for a freshen up, but we hope to be back on track in January once we are done.”

Top Sportsman will be joined by the quick dragsters of the Modified division, plus the Super Sedan, Modified Bike, Super Street and Junior Dragster categories.

The 400 Thunder Sportsman Series won’t be the only highlight at the track, with the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars also on show in what will be a thrilling weekend of drag racing for North Queensland motorsport fans.

Testing will be held from 6pm to 9pm on Friday night with racing from 11.30am on Saturday.

For more information including schedules and pricing, head to www.springmountraceway.com.au.

– Release courtesy 400 Thunder

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