Promising Hawke's Bay motorsport driver Ronan Murphy has taken an international step towards his long-term goal of racing Supercars.
Earlier this week, Murphy, the 17-year-old son of Hawke's Bay Sports Hall of Famer and four-time Bathurst 1000 winner Greg Murphy, spent time in the United States participating in a test with Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport in a US Formula 4 car as part of his prize for winning the 2018 Sabre Motorsport Speedsport "Star of Tomorrow" Scholarship. The test was held at Motorsport Ranch, a private test track in Cresson, Texas, an hour from Dallas.
"The night before had seen thunder storms, which meant the track still had some damp patches despite it being 27 degrees and sunny. Due to the track being quite ineffective at dispersing water, a couple of running rivers across the width of the track remained there all day, meaning I never got to experience a fully dry track," Murphy explained.
"Despite this, the test went extremely well, logging roughly 60 laps with no major issues, and I managed to put in some strong, consistent lap times despite the conditions, leaving the team very impressed with my overall performance, and, equally importantly, also Dad, who accompanied me on the trip as he had business over there as well. The track was really cool as well with a lot of long, fast corners - making it quite physically and mentally tough," Murphy said.
"Personally, I came away very pleased with my performance as the car is another big step up from anything I had experienced previously, so fingers crossed it may lead to some more time in a car in their championship at some time in the future."
Murphy is looking forward to next month's start to the Manfeild Winter Series, in which he will be racing a Spectrum Formula Ford. He will be supervised by the Spectrum builder-developer, Australian Mike Borland.
"I hope to be testing the car for the first time in the next few weeks, before the first round. Being engineered by Mike, with his wide range of experience, should help set me up well for which ever direction I go down in the future," Murphy said.
Last month Murphy competed in the final round of the Hi-Q New Zealand Formula First Championship in Taupō. He won the Rookie of the Year title and finished sixth overall, the same position Euroformula Open Championship driver Liam Lawson achieved during his scholarship season.
Before beginning the championship last year, Murphy said following his father's path and racing Supercars was his long-term goal.
"If I could race in any class I could make a living off, I would be over the moon ... hopefully it will be Supercars eventually."