Promising Hawke's Bay motorsport driver Ronan Murphy has a pretty good relationship with his grandfather, Kevin Murphy.

So Kevin won't mind that his grandson revealed Kevin "got a little bit emotional" last weekend. Twenty eight years after Kevin drove Ronan's dad and future four-time Bathurst 1000 winner Greg Murphy to Manfeild on the weekend he won the Shell Ultra Formula Ford Scholarship Ronan collected the Sabre Motorsport SpeedSport "Star of Tomorrow" Scholarship after Kevin drove him to the same venue.

"It was quite funny when Granddad mentioned Dad's win when we drove down on the first day. I didn't think too much about it ... I just wanted to get the job done," Ronan recalled.

With Greg regularly commuting from the Bay to Aussie for his commentating duties on the Supercars circuit he doesn't get to attend as many of Ronan's events as he would like. Kevin has been Ronan's regular chauffeur since his karting days in 2014.


"Some people don't see their grandfathers enough. Mine is almost sick of me but we have a good relationship. It's a little bit unfortunate dad can't make a lot of my things but that's OK," Ronan said.

The 16-year-old Napier Boys' High School student was one of eight drivers who chased the scholarship last weekend. The field was reduced to five finalists for the second day.

Trying conditions over the weekend gave the judges the perfect opportunity to see the drivers' ability in wet, dry and greasy conditions. The technical layout of the venue's back track allowed all aspects of the drivers' ability to be tested with fast-flowing corners, double apexes and tight hairpins.

Although the times were close, Ronan was the fastest and ultra consistent lap to lap. Off the track he also stood out in the judged interview and general interaction with the other judges.

"I wasn't too fussed on the conditions I got. While I didn't get a single dry race it was the same for everybody."

Previous winners of the scholarship include future Supercars driver Shane van Gisbergen in 2004, future endurance racer Andrew Waite in 2005 and future rally driver Hayden Pedersen in 2010.

"It's pretty cool to be following drivers of that calibre," Ronan said.

He said it was good to win the Formula First class scholarship after missing out on the Toyota TR86 scholarship last month.


"That one was quite difficult. They were looking for more experienced people. Zac [fellow Bay driver Stichbury] and I were not too far off the pace but didn't have the experience. They wanted drivers who could go out and be in contention straight away.

"It was a bit unfortunate but still a really good experience. When you get these opportunities you might as well take them ... I had nothing to lose."

Ronan pointed out the Formula First cars he will race are powered by 1200cc engines.

"They have a little bit of power and road tyres so there isn't a lot of grip. You have to carry your speed."

His first outing will be round one of the Manfeild Winter Series at Queen's Birthday Weekend which is part of his preparation for the 2018-19 NZ Formula First Championship.

Following his father's path and racing Supercars is Ronan's long-term goal.

"Dad had told me there is a small chance of that happening. I have to have a back-up plan and work hard at school because there are no guarantees. It takes a lot of time, effort and money. While it is still possible you have got to prepare that it may not happen. At the moment I'm working hard at getting excellences at levels two and three at school so I've got some options when I leave school," Ronan added.