A second retired Supercars star is set to dust off their helmets this year to tame Mount Panorama at the Bathurst 1000, with Greg Murphy making a comeback.
Seven years after his final V8 race, four-time Bathurst 1000 champion Murphy will team up with ex-Supercars driver and compatriot Kiwi Richie Stanaway in an Erebus Motorsport Boost Mobile entry confirmed Tuesday.
Murphy’s return follows an announcement in April that two-time Bathurst winner Russell Ingall – nicknamed the Enforcers – is stepping down to compete in a Triple Eight wildcard start on the mountain with highly rated teen Broc Feeney in October.
Murphy, 48, last raced the Bathurst 1000 in 2014 when he worked with James Courtney on a Holden Racing Team Commodore and finished 13th.
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But the former longtime Holden ace has an enviable record in the Great Race in a group of four drivers – Allan Moffat, Jamie Whincup and Garth Tander – as a four-time winner.
The New Zealander, who retired from full-time sport in supercars at the end of 2012, also took four more podium places in the endurance classic.
Murphy said he was excited to have the opportunity to tackle Mount Panorama again on his 23rd start at the Bathurst 1000.
“All of a sudden there is a group of people here who want and want this,” said Murphy, who will be campaigning in his old car # 51.
“I’m very fortunate and fortunate to have the opportunity to go back and drive in a place that means so much to me.
“The number 51 has become a trademark that has been linked to me and my career for quite a while, so it will be cool to bring it back.”
Murphy was spotted on the track at the Norwell Motorplex in Queensland on Monday in preparation for his comeback race.
He is famous for producing the original “Lap of the Gods” in 2003 when he set Mount Panorama on fire with what was then the fastest qualifying round of all time.
Erebus team principal Barry Ryan said the squad will make sure both drivers are updated before the October 7-10 race.
“I’ve developed Greg before and worked very closely with him. He’s basically a motorsport god in New Zealand, but he also has a lot of passionate Australian fans,” said Ryan.
“Both drivers know how to drive a race car and we will make sure that we give them some good tests and that they are comfortable in the car before we get to the mountain.”
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