Motorsport: Greg Murphy coming out of retirement for Hampton Downs 101

By Dale Budge

Greg Murphy. Photo / Getty
Greg Murphy. Photo / Getty

Four-time Bathurst winner and former Supercars star Greg Murphy is coming out of retirement for next month's Hampton Downs 101.

Murphy will co-drive an Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 alongside track owner Tony Quinn at the inaugural event at the remodelled race track.

Murphy, who works as a television commentator for Supercars these days, stepped away from competitive racing in 2014 but says the opportunity to participate in the first Hampton Downs 101 and the Highlands 101 a fortnight later was too appealing, having first got a taste of GT racing t the Cromwell track in 2013.

"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."

The Australian GT series has grown in popularity in recent years.

"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. 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 Murphy/Quinn combination should be pretty competitive. Murphy has done plenty of mileage at Hampton Downs, albeit in his V8 SuperTourer which is based there, while Quinn has won the Highlands 101 in 2013 (with Fabian Coulthard) and 2014 (with Garth Tander).

"I think if you combined our ages, we might be one of the oldest teams in the 101," Quinn joked.

"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."

The Hampton Downs 101 is to be held on October 28-30 and is the third round of the Australian GT Endurance Championship while the fourth and final event of the series is a fortnight later at Highlands Motorsport Park.

- NZ Herald

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