Beating cancer to winning rallies: Jeff Morton’s story

In this SPIN, The Rally Pod special Jeff Morton tells Colin Clark about battling back from a brain tumor to win a Targa

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Every once in a while, a rally result throws up a backstory that is even more remarkable than anything that could ever happen out on the stages.

And that’s exactly what happened in last month’s Targa High Country in Australia’s Victorian Alps.

Jeff Morton won one of Australia’s premier Tarmac rally drivers in a Porsche GT2 RS, but rewind 12 years and rallying was a long way from Morton’s thoughts.

A drive home from Queensland with his young family, that ended in a serious car crash, started a sequence of events that was to change the successful young entrepreneur’s life beyond recognition.

Morton tells Colin Clark in this special edition of SPIN, The Rally Pod how that car crash resulted in the diagnosis of a potentially life-threatening brain tumor.

Morton battled back from his surgery to try and return some kind of normality to his young and growing family’s lives. He was involved in the motor industry and losing his driving license as a result of his diagnosis was just a further blow that he had to deal with.

But Morton is not only brave, he’s one of the most tenacious, driven and focused characters you’re likely to meet. The driving license took 12 months to secure but it would be a further five years of determined lobbying before Morton could persuade the Australian motorsport regulators that he was fit enough to warrant a competition license.

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And that’s when Morton and Targa’s paths crossed for the first time. He started competing in the regularity rallying TSD class, and progressed through the classes to ultimately take the top step of the podium on Targa High Country.

Motorsport is clearly part of the ongoing process of recovery for Morton and his story is one that takes you from the near-death depths of despair of diagnosis, through a remarkable return to fitness and the achievement of once seemingly impossible life goals.

It’s a truly inspiring story of one man’s determination to live life to the absolute fullest and how motorsport has helped him achieve that.

Words:Colin Clark