Morse still tickled pink with Townsville podium

Dunlop Series
13 Sep
'It felt so fulfilling, something you always strive for'
3 mins by Chad Neylon
  • Morse claimed first podium in Townsville

  • Morse is racing former Waters Tickford Mustang

  • Family also owns Mostert 2021 Bathurst winner

Zane Morse cut a euphoric, yet exhausted figure as he floated through the paddock in the Townsville sunshine, the emotions of his first ever Dunlop Series podium sinking in.

His unmistakable pink race suit drenched in champagne, empty bottle in one hand, trophy in the other.

It had been a long road to this point.

His family and sponsors had invested an unthinkable amount when they purchased not only the Chaz Mostert Bathurst-winning car prior to the 2021 victory, but also the car that finished second behind it in that race, Cam Waters’ Tickford Mustang.

This podium was justification for all they had spent.

Their mantra was always get Zane in the right car and he would show what he could do.

But despite that belief, the instant speed out of the truck in Townsville caught the 24-year-old - from Bungendore, NSW, a small country town close to where Mark Webber grew up - off guard.

Privateer racer realises dream with first podium Open Graph Image

“It definitely surprised me after the first practice.” Morse said ahead of the fifth round in Sandown this weekend.

“I was going around and around in that first practice and I was like, 'Wow, I haven’t been called in for a little bit'. I called into my engineer and asked if I should come in and do tyres or a change or something.

“I asked where I was on the timing. He told me I was in first and I was like, 'Oh shit!' I had no idea how to respond to that.

“It [the podium] was absolutely awesome. We just put so much effort in after Newcastle. I stuffed up qualifying in Perth and I was motivated to get it right in Townsville and I did and it just made racing so much easier.

“I’ve been on podiums before but being on a Supercars podium for the first time was definitely different. It felt so fulfilling, something you always strive for and then instantly you are striving for the next one, trying to get to second or even first.”


Indeed Morse did experience a tricky start to his 2023 campaign.

His family-run team, AIM Motorsport expanded to two cars with a Super3 entry for rookie driver, Ryan Gilroy.

Meet the Dunlop Series grid: Zane Morse

And while Gilroy achieved a Super3 podium on debut in Newcastle, Morse failed to meet his own expectations leaving the event 14th in points.

“When we first started the year off in the new car I thought I would be at the front straight away and it just didn’t happen because I cooked myself in my head," Morse said.

"Newcastle was a real heartbreaker for us.

“So I strived even harder in Perth and we were quick there but I stood on it in qualifying but then raced and did everything great in Townsville and now I just need to do it for the remaining three rounds.”

The team have made one major change ahead of Sandown, with Gilroy moving from a VF Commodore to a Nissan Altima.

As for the Bathurst-winning ZB Commodore the team owns, paddock rumours suggest the car has potentially found a new home.

Morse was not yet in a position to say if the highly collectable car had indeed been sold: “I’m not sure what the situation is with the Chaz car yet.

“Mum and Dad have been away for three months on a much needed vacation and I’ve been looking after the roofing company while they’re gone. We should know after Sandown I believe.”

For now, Morse is focused on continuing his good form into the challenge that lays ahead this weekend: "Hopefully with Sandown I can go back-to-back if not even better."

Morse will hit the track for the first time on Friday at the Penrite Oil Sandown 500 at 9:50am AEST.

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