New Zealand motor racing superstar Greg Murphy is set to return to the Australian GT grid for the Hampton Downs 101 at the end of October and the Highlands 101 in November. Murphy will line up alongside Hampton Downs owner Tony Quinn in the Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 for the inaugural Hampton Downs 101.
Murphy last raced in an Australian GT event at the Highlands 101 at Highlands Motorsport Park in 2013, where he finished fifth in a McLaren with co-driver Neil Crompton.
“It was an incredibly enjoyable experience,” says Murphy. “The atmosphere was just fantastic and I’m expecting big things from the first Hampton Downs 101. I’m at Hampton Downs all the time doing ride days and I’ve seen how the place has changed since Tony Quinn bought it last year. The 101 is going to be an amazing event and it was something I wanted to be a part of when Tony first mentioned it to me.”
Murphy’s pedigree as a former Bathurst 1000 winner and multiple series champion in NZ SuperTourers combined with Quinn’s experience in endurance racing – he won the Highlands 101 in 2013 (with Fabian Coulthard) and 2014 (with Garth Tander) – should make for a formidable pairing.
“I think if you combined our ages we might be one of the oldest teams in the 101,” joked Quinn. “In his day Murph was clearly one of the best drivers around but like all of us he’s getting a bit long in the tooth now. We might not be as sharp as we used to be but we’ll go alright! He’s raced in GTs a couple of times before so I’m sure it won’t take him long to get back up to speed.
Murphy admits he is excited to get back behind the wheel of a GT car and is looking forward to experiencing the development in Australian GT first hand.
“It’s changed dramatically from a couple of years ago from when I did the Highlands 101,” Murphy says. “It’s a very impressive championship now and it’s really found a niche in Australasia. It’s not just in this part of the world either. Globally GT racing is going from strength to strength.”
“They’re cool cars,” Murphy says by way of explanation. “They look awesome and they’re awesome to drive. With traction control, ABS and aerodynamics, they’re a very different machine to get behind the wheel of. I think Hampton Downs is going to suit those cars massively, just the style of corners and some of the fast stuff, it’s going to be an awesome track to drive a top GT car.”
The Hampton Downs 101 (October 28-30) is the third round of the CAMS Australian Endurance Championship. Two weeks later the season wraps up with an action-packed weekend at Highlands Motorsport Park from November 11-13 where both the CAMS Australian Endurance Championship and CAMS Australian GT Championships will be decided. With three events spread across two race weekends it makes for a thrilling climax to the 2016 season, which has already been the biggest season in Australian GT history.
Art Dept September 21, 2016
Posted In: News
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