Targa Tasmania competitor ready to race for a cure

LIFELONG DREAM: Jeff Morton will race in his second Targa Tasmania on Monday in his 2017 Lotus Exige Sport 350 'White Lightning'. Picture: Paul D'Ambra

LIFELONG DREAM: Jeff Morton will race in his second Targa Tasmania on Monday in his 2017 Lotus Exige Sport 350 'White Lightning'. Picture: Paul D'Ambra

Eight years ago, Jeff Morton was told he would likely never drive again. Now, he’s preparing to race in his second Targa Tasmania.

Following a car crash in Queensland in 2010, Mr Morton had a brain MRI.

“I got a call from my doctor saying to come in, but don’t drive. That was the day I found out that I had quite a large brain tumor, which we found out later on caused me to have that car accident,” he said.

“So, that was a big shock. I’ve been really into motorsport and cars are my whole life, so to just to go from having a really good life and everything ahead of you to the prospect of whether or not you’re going to be able to get through this [was difficult].”

The surgery and cancer treatment prevented Mr Morton from practicing his life’s passion – driving and competitive racing.

“Two weeks before I got diagnosed with the brain tumor, I bought my first Lotus,” he said. 

“There was a time where I thought I might never drive a car again. After about a year, I did get my road licence back.

“I was hoping that eventually I’d be able to get my motorsport licence back. … in the end I had to wait five years.

“After that, I decided I wanted to get in and enjoy all the stuff I hadn’t been able to do for a long time.

“That was when I first decided I wanted to try tarmac rallies.”

Mr Morton said he tried Targa High Country, and then set his sights on Targa Tasmania.

Mr Morton said he bought a new Lotus to tackle the GT Sports Trophy.

“I came down [to Tasmania] last year for that, and I ended up winning by more than 10 minutes, which was awesome,” he said.

“I’ve been able to come back and fulfil a lifelong dream to do Targa Tasmania, and now I’m back again this year … this year I’m doing the Rookie Rally. I’m pretty excited about it.

“I just really want to focus on having fun and enjoying these really amazing roads.”

After his first Targa Tasmania, Mr Morton got involved with the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.

“I thought it made sense to try and advocate for them and raise awareness,” he said.

Mr Morton aims to raise $10,000 for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, and has so far raised more than $2000. To donate, head online to www.curebraincancer.org.au/my-fundraising/10544/racingforacure.