Murphy shows some of what's to come
Mike Pero Racing’s Greg Murphy has deemed the inaugural round of the V8SuperTourers series at Hampton Downs an overwhelming success. “It’s been a short period of time to get this whole championship together and the work that has been done is phenomenal by all concerned. To have all the cars built along with procurement of sponsors, it’s all a bit of a fairy tale to be on the top step of the podium.”
Murphy, a four-time Bathurst winner competing in an NZ run series for the first time since 1998, was off to a promising start qualifying the Mike Pero Commodore second for the rolling start. This was something that Murph is not accustomed to in his time in the Australian V8 Supercars consequently dropping to as low as third on the first lap.
It wasn’t until lap 13 that Murph claimed the lead from Andy Booth and was untouchable all the way to the chequered flag. Murphy was ecstatic in returning to the winners circle for the first time since Surfers Paradise in 2005 stating “It’s awesome to be in New Zealand and racing – and winning is not bad either.”
In race 2 on Sunday Murph again lost track position with the rolling start but his sheer class and aggressive racing style kept him at the front of the pack fighting an impressive battle with Jonny Reid and Kayne Scott. It didn’t take long for Murph to gain ascendancy, taking the race lead be-fore the halfway mark and making it back-to-back victories.
Despite claiming two wins, Murphy is still looking to improve, particularly on the foreign nature of the race starts, “Kayne made a great start, I’ll have to learn from them.”
The final race of the round was a fiery affair with track positions being hotly contested. On lap 6 Murph was pressing for the race lead when he went into the final corner and slightly overcooked touching the back of Scott and sending him into a spin. Murph suffered the wrath of race control as his infraction resulted in a drive through penalty, subsequently dropping right down the field. The round victory for Murphy was put in limbo as he was forced to fight his way back through the field . The round victory Murphy was put in limbo as he was forced to fight his way back through the field, even more so as he spun in the dying stages of the 30 lap race.
Murphy, far and away the crowd favourite, regrouped to cross the line in seventh to roaring cheers, to claim an emphatic first round victory of the newly established V8SuperTourers. “What a great start to the series. Great week-end, great crowd and some fantastic racing” Murphy reflected.
Mike Pero Racing heads to Round 2 at Christchurch with the championship lead and great confidence after a stellar weekend at Hampton Downs.