One of the newest voices on the Australian speedway commentary scene is Jake Morrell, and he is in the unique situation of spending time between holding a microphone calling the speedway action and getting out on the track behind the wheel of a race car.
The Werribee, Victoria based resident is currently this season enjoying sharing the full-time commentary duties at Geelong’s Avalon Raceway with another new face (voice) on the commentary scene in Liam Aunger.
“I’m really enjoying my first season at Avalon Raceway in the commentary team alongside Liam Aunger, where we look after the social-media promotion as well, and it’s also a pleasure to be working alongside a legend in Gavin White and also Liam (Aunger), as there is never a dull moment between the three of us,” the 27-year-old said.
“Avalon Raceway is one of Victoria’s leading tracks and the racing this season has been outstanding across all of the classes.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity provided to me by the Drew family to call all of the action from what I consider the best seat in the house.”
In what is his first season a regular commentator, Morrell, who has also this season made guest commentary appearances at Premier Speedway in Warrnambool and Simpson Speedway, is grabbing every opportunity that comes his way with both hands.
“Speedway is one of my biggest passions and I’m very grateful to be provided with opportunities to showcase my abilities as a commentator,” he commented.
“My long-term goal is to establish myself as a commentator in what is a very tough field in this industry, especially in my home state of Victoria. There are so many talented callers in speedway, and although I’m trying to establish my own name, I’m also trying to learn as much as possible from many of them.”
Unlike a lot of commentators in the industry, Morrell still regularly competes in speedway via the Speedway Kart class.
“I still love getting behind the wheel of my Speedway Kart and going out there and racing, and it’s actually in Speedway Karts where I first got started in commentating,” he explained.
“I feel that I have a better understanding from a racer’s point of view actually racing myself while I’m commentating, and it also helps me in so many situations during a race meeting.”
As an observer of motorsport growing up, Morrell only first ventured to a speedway race meeting as a 17-year-old with some mates at ironically Geelong’s Avalon Raceway in 2010. After a few seasons, he got the urge to get involved in speedway competition, which was assisted by his best mate Aaron Cook. With the help of best mate and long-time Speedway Kart racer Cook, Morrell started in Speedway Karts and from there, he has never looked back.
Photo: Rock Solid Productions
Over the past decade, Morrell’s racing activities have been punctuated by two long periods on the sideline nursing football injuries. Apart from speedway, another one of Morrell’s biggest passions is playing AFL.
After some busy seasons chasing the major Speedway Kart events around the country, Morrell had his first taste of commentating in 2016, when he wanted to help promote his local Melbourne Speedway Kart Club more. He began putting together some social-media videos before and after race meetings on the club’s Facebook page and before he knew it, he was commentating races between his own races and also doing full race meeting commentary, such as the Australian and Victorian Titles at Ballarat’s Redline Raceway in 2017, while he was unable to race due to his AFL injuries.
Morrell had his big break occur late last season, when he was approached by Rod Drew at a Speedway Kart race meeting about the possibility of doing some commentary work at Avalon Raceway. With some advice and guidance from fellow commentators Gavin White and David Mills, Morrell dipped his toe into commentary at Avalon Raceway in the concluding race meetings of that season, which allowed him to make a good enough impression to be offered a regular commentary position for the following season.