Kiwi racing superstar Greg Murphy is set to get back in the hot seat for the upcoming Hampton Downs 101, to be held at the end of October, and the Highlands 101 in November.
For the events, Murphy will be teaming up with two-time Highlands 101 winner, and track owner, Tony Quinn, to drive an Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3.
While well known for driving V8 Supercars, this isn't Murphy’s first foray into GT racing, having previously raced at the Highlands 101 in 2013, where he finished fifth in a McLaren with co-driver Neil Crompton.
“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 when Tony first mentioned it to me.”
With Murphy’s pedigree and experience combined with Quinn’s, the team should make for a formidable pairing.
“I think if you combined our ages we might be one of the oldest teams in the 101,” laughs Quinn. “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.”
Murphy says, “[The championship’s] changed dramatically from a couple of years ago ... when I did the Highlands 101. 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 Hampton Downs 101 takes place over October 28–30 and makes up the third round of the CAMS Australian Endurance Championship. Just a fortnight later the season wraps up at Highlands Motorsport Park.