Power steering failure forced Sirromet Wines Holden Commodore driver Paul Morris out of today's third and final race in round 12 of the V8 Supercar Championship at Pukekohe in New Zealand.

Morris held second position in for a lengthy period until making his compulsory pit-stop to change tyres after 31 of the 54 laps. He returned to the pits two laps later and withdrew from the race.

Earlier in the day the 35-year-old from the Gold Coast finished 16th in the second race of the round, also over 54 laps.

In the closing stages his VY Commodore made contact with the Lansvale Smash Repairs Commodore of Cameron McConville. Both drivers completed the race, but afterwards they were summoned to a stewards hearing. No immediate action was taken.

Morris, who finished 14th in yesterday's opening race on the round, scored a total of 82 championship points from the three events on the 2.8km Pukekohe circuit. He now holds 23rd position in the series with a tally of 930 points.

"This is always a tough weekend," said Morris, "Our strategy today was to delay the [compulsory] pit-stops until as late as possible. We wanted to give ourselves every chance to pit under Safety Car conditions and make up time on the others, and also to have good tyres for the run to the flag.

"The car balance seemed quite good, but in today's first race the engine seemed to lack punch and power. In the last few laps [Cameron] McConville and I came together. I tried to pass him and he 'shut the door'. Then I was hit from behind by someone and it pushed me into him [McConville]. Eventually I made the pass and after the race he seemed upset. To me it was a 'racing incident'."



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