In conversation with DSC, 2016 Sunoco Whelen Challenge winner Seb Morris expressed his excitement to take on the 2017 Daytona 24 Hours, his prize for winning the year-long competition.
While it’s unclear which team he will be racing for, or what car he will be driving, the prospect of joining the IMSA field for the beginning of its new era in prototypes is something which Morris feels privileged to be a part of.
“I’m so pleased to have won the Sunoco Challenge,” he said to DSC. “It’s given me the chance to compete in my first 24-hour race, and in at an event which is seeing a lot of changes next year, it’s been on my bucket list since I made the move across to GT and sportscars.
The Daytona 24 will be the event which kicks off next season for me
“The race is right up there with Le Mans in terms of prestige now, so if I can perform well and make some friends in the paddock, it could pay off in getting a drive in IMSA.
“Racing over in America is something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Morris – who finished third in his debut British GT Championship season this year in Team Parker’s GT3 Bentley Continental alongside Rick Parfitt – spent his entire 2016 season tracking his positions in the Sunoco standings.
Morris was motivated to take home the prize that has the potential to elevate his career to a whole new level.
“I was checking after each weekend,” he continued, “because the points system is so intense that you really need to make sure you finish well all the time. In the end it paid off, though, and the Daytona 24 will be the event which kicks off next season for me.”
I’m going to change my training routine to ensure I’m ready and bleed my manager Andy Meyrick’s brain dry over the next few months!
Not only will it be Morris’ first 24-hour event, but his first long-distance race too, which he admits will require a lot of extra preparation to ensure he hits the ground running in January in Florida.
“I mean, it’s a week-long event, it’s going to be tough. I’m going to change my training routine to ensure I’m ready and bleed my manager Andy Meyrick’s brain dry over the next few months! I respect the Daytona 24 Hours, I’m going to call some former winners and get as much advice as possible before I go.
“I’m also going to do a lot of simulator prep to get used to driving the circuit and with some of the cars I might be driving. I need to get used to driving long distances too. I’m also hoping to get some on-track testing beforehand, I hope to be at the Roar Before The 24.”
While Morris hasn’t confirmed what his 2017 campaign will look like, he’s made it clear to DSC that his career path is now set in sportscars and GT racing, and that he plans to build on his successes in 2016 going forward.
“I’ve had a few offers, I just need to decide,” Morris concluded. “I need to ensure the tables have turned in my career now, that I’m getting paid to drive instead of bringing money. That professionalism is what I seek, and now I’m on the list of Sunoco winners with guys like Jonny Adam and Filipe Nasr I know I can achieve that.
“I hope to be at some of the big races next year.”