Paul Morris, known as ‘The Dude’, praises the amazing drive from NSW amateur driver Luke Searle to beat a top Supercars driver to win the Bathurst 6-hour today.
Searle raced hard against a very professional Chaz Mostert in the Ford Focus who had clear strengths and weaknesses against the Searle’s BMW.
Morris is bloody happy to see Luke Searle to score a victory at Mount Panorama, beating a Supercars driver Chaz Mostert who is also a Bathurst 1000 champion.
“Just stoked for Luke really,” the Dude said just after the race.
“He is one of Australia’s best drivers, he’s one of those drivers who slipped through the cracks. Never seemed to get a professional drive. Man did he wheel that car today.”
“We spoke before if he is the right guy to have in the car at the end of the day and you saw he was for sure.”
Morris had full belief that Searles could beat Mostert today even when he was behind Mostert after the last safety car caused by Baird’s fireball.
“Yeah of course,” he said. “It’s never over till it’s over, I know how this place is like [remembering what happened at the 1997 Bathurst 1000] and you only need to lead the last lap.”
“Chaz was wheeling the Focus through traffic and that car is four wheel drive, so he was using the grass and bits of curb. So you saw how good Chaz was to keep plucking away, and when that safety car came out our tyres cooled down.”
“We spoke on the radio to see where we can make up more time, so Luke adjusted his driving and dropped the hammer and it was on.”
He is proud of the achievement of winning the three current endurance races at the Mount Panorama Circuit, not including the Bathurst 24 Hour happened over 10 years ago.
“John Bowe just told me I won the triple crown so that’s pretty good,” he joked.
“Yeah it’s awesome, I can’t believe it. It’s just a great place to come and race with a great bunch of guys who are all volunteers here. To be able to put a bunch of guys together and work together as a team, everyone has day jobs and put on a car race like this, it’s pretty cool.”
“I’m always emotional when I come here, it’s a pretty magical place.”
However, on the other side of the battle for the win, Mostert explained that gearbox problems plagued his run home.
“We dropped fifth and sixth gear, but that’s not a mechanical, I think that’s a bit more of driver abuse,” Mostert said on the podium.
“We were getting pushed pretty hard there for that whole last stint from Luke and I’m going to put my hand up for that one; I think I was a bit harsh on the old production car box!”