Talented Hawke's Bay driver Ronan Murphy is poised for a stint in the United States-based Formula 4 Championship.
"The Formula 4 Championship is looking like the best option for me to pursue going forward in 2020 which could then lead onto other USA based Championships. The F4 cars are great to drive with paddle shift, slick tyres along with a bit of downforce and the perfect stepping stone from what I'm in now up to the next categories in future seasons," Murphy said after he spent last week testing at the Buttonwillow Raceway in California.
"Once Dad [New Zealand motor racing legend and four-time Bathurst 1000 winner Greg Murphy] and I have had a chance to discuss it further and he gets some time with Garry [Orton] and Teena [Larsen] from Kiwi Motorsport when they are here in New Zealand later this month, we'll be in a position to lock away a plan," Murphy explained.
The 18-year-old former Napier Boys' High School student pointed out he had an awesome week at Buttonwillow Raceway. It was his second taste of F4 testing in the States after one in April at Motorsport Ranch, a private test track in Cresson, Texas.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"I managed to log around 200 laps over the two days and posted some strong and I believe competitive times, which will be a big factor in evaluating my plans for next year," Murphy said.
"I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone at Kiwi Motorsport for all their time and effort to make this F4 test possible and so very enjoyable for me. And also obviously a massive thank you to my many sponsors and supporters who contributed to help get me over there and to make this next chapter in my motorsport career happen as this would never have been possible without you guys."
With four more rounds in the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship Murphy won't be short of seat time before heading to the United States if that pathway gets the thumbs-up. He will race his Spectrum 015 Formula Ford at Round 3 of the Championship at Teretaunga in Invercargill next month before returning to circuits he is more familiar with at Hampton Downs, Pukekohe and Taupō.
Murphy's April stint in the United States was part of his prize for winning the 2018 Sabre Motorsport Speedsport "Star of Tomorrow" Scholarship. In July Murphy topped the points table following a week-long camp with Motorsport New Zealand's Elite MotorSport Academy in Dunedin.
With this level of success and obvious potential it's easy to gauge why Murphy has little difficulty in attracting sponsors. He was thrilled to welcome Napier-based Galbraith Earthmovers to his sponsors group for his Formula Ford campaign and future racing activities.