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Porsche Club of America (PCA) Club Racing Driveway to Raceway: Terry Morris

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Article by Kate Taylor

Terry Morris' love affair with Porsche started young.

"For years in junior high, I drove past a doctor's house in Winfield, Kansas who had a series of Porsche 914s and 911s to look at," Morris said. "I loved them."

That early exposure led to an active life as a Porsche Club of America (PCA) member - participating in Autocross, High Performance Drivers' Education (HPDE) and Club Racing, as well as founding the Wichita PCA Region Autocross program, which still runs today.

This year, Morris will be autocrossing his 1999 Boxster at Porsche Parade. Morris also continues to instruct new drivers three to four times per year while still competing in the PCA Club Racing program.

"I think it is important that we PCA racers help keep new people coming into the program," he said.

Morris has done more than 80 race weekends with PCA throughout the years.

"I have had so much fun - I don't know where to start. At almost every event I say at some point, 'It just can't get any better than this!'" 

The Appeal

I had a good friend with a Porsche 914 during college and I had to have one. I finally got the nerve to go to a Wichita Region PCA event in 1982 with my 1973 914. At first, I thought they might not accept a "kid" with a 914 - boy was I wrong. What a great group.

I mostly wanted to learn more about the cars and technical stuff. I like the flash and wave that always went on between Porsche drivers when we met on the road. In October of 1982, I ordered a Porsche 944 - "Whitey" - it took nine months to get it delivered. It was like waiting on a baby! About two weeks after I got it delivered, I drove to Arkansas for some fun on some of the best roads in the country. My wife threw up several times.

I have held many officer titles for the region throughout the 1980s and 1990s, including President several times. Then I took on the newsletter editor job in 1984 and did that through the late 1990s.

I went to my first Porsche High Performance Drivers Education (HPDE) in 1986. Then, in 1987 and 1988, I won the autocross competitions at the Porsche Parade and the Fiesta Del Porsche in Santa Fe, New Mexico all four times I went.

I did my first club race in 2003 at Texas World Speedway and competed in five more events that year. After my bypass surgery in December of 2003, I was already racing again in March of 2004 - that was fun telling the other racers in “I” class about what I did over the winter. I think maybe they gave me a little extra room in the first few practices! I was awarded the Michael Ward Melton Memorial Rookie of the Year award for the 2003 season.

Paddock Inside Scoop

I switched to the SP1 class about seven years ago and I'm racing with the best people and racers - Steve Coomes, Chris Blazer, Dale Tuety, Chester, and Julie Bailey, and the list goes on in SP1.

For about three years in a row, Steve Coomes lost a PS pump at a club race. I would loan him my spare and he would send me back a replacement a month or so later.  The next season he would lose another one and I would loan him the one he sent me still in the original shipping box it came to me in. A classic SP1 standing joke.

At Eagles Canyon several years ago, I lost a transmission on Friday afternoon of the test and tune day. I jacked up the car, dropped the tranny in about 30 minutes and pushed the car on the trailer to make the hour drive to Steve Coomes' house to install a spare he had. Earlier in the day, Chris Blazer had a terminal engine problem and left for Steve's house. When we got to Steve's, Chris already had the bad one out and ready to go in with the replacement. Steve, Chris and I got the engine and my tranny in that night and raced the whole weekend. During the enduro, Todd Engwald, Chris, Steve and I ran in a train until pit stops. Todd and Chris pitted together, and Steve and I went on several more laps before we pitted. When we came out of the pits we filed in directly behind Todd and Chris the same as before pit stops started. Game back on for the rest of the enduro!

The ironic thing is that mechanics at the local sponsoring dealership put together a cool sculpture of transmission parts to award to the entrant that did the most wrenching at the track. I got that award but have always felt bad that I couldn't tell the whole story at the award dinner and give it to Chris as he did a lot more work than I did!

Morris' Porsche Family

I bought the car I still race today - a 1984 944 - in 2001. It has a tech sticker on the roll cage from 1985.

My two children both drove Porsche 944s we rebuilt together throughout their high school and college careers. My daughter has driven her current 1984 944 through medical school and five years of residency. It has done eight HPDE weekends - some with both her and her husband, Kris, driving.

Now the plot thickens. Both Kaley and Kris have the racing bug bad, so he and my daughter fired me up this winter to build a race car for them. With their help, we started a car - a 924 S conveniently parked in my backyard. Kris competed in his rookie race at Hastings Racecourse this month.

My son (Keenan) has had a 944 Turbo for about 10 years, and a 2006 Boxster S for a while. But guess what? He bought my Whitey back four years ago, so it is back in the family and still in fantastic condition. Kris and Keenan will be going head to head at the parade autocross this July in Kaley's 944 and Whitey.

Advice to New Drivers

Park the ego for a year and drive a momentum car like a Porsche 944 or Spec Boxster before you move up to a faster class. Get as much seat time as you can - whether it's autocrosses, go carts, ATVs - it all builds your skill baseline.

Follow a top SP1 or SPB driver for a while, even if you are way faster on the straights. You will learn smoothness and see things that might really help.  If you are in a faster class car and there is a SP1 on your butt in the corners, switch places for a few laps.

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