The HoldenRacing Team has chosen Greg Murphy as its number one ‘draft pick’ for the V8 enduranceraces at Sandown and Bathurst later this year.
Murphybecame available when he was unable to find a suitable full-time drive for thisyear’s V8 Supercars Championship.
The40-year-old Kiwi is a four-time Bathurst 1000 winner, his first victory comingwhile co-driving with Craig Lowndes for HRT in 1996. The pair also wonback-to-back Sandown 500 titles for the team in 1996/97.
“Life’s come a full circle and I couldn’t behappier, I’m back with the Holden Racing Team where it all started. To be partof the factory Holden team feels very right,” Murphy said.
Whiledisappointed at not having a full-time seat, Murphy said re-joining HRT gavehim his best chance of adding to his Bathurst titles.
“It takestime accepting change, but it’s happened. It just worked out that there wasn’t[a full-time] place for me in 2013,” he said.
“I didn’twant to be part of a team that couldn’t provide a strong prospect of winningraces, so the best option was driving in the enduros only with a team that gaveme a real chance.
“HRT goes toSandown and Bathurst to win. This is the best opportunity I’ve had to win thoseraces in the past few years – this is the best place for me to be.”
GarthTander, who enters his sixth full-time season with HRT, said Murphy was theteam’s first choice for enduro co-drivers.
“Murph’s thenumber one draft pick for Sandown and Bathurst, no question,” Tander said.
“He’s got somuch experience, so for us to have him as part of our team in our garage throughoutthe year, let alone the enduros, is fantastic.”
Tander saidno decision had yet been made on whether Murphy would partner him or teammateJames Courtney.
Murphy recentlyunderwent a seat fitting in Tander’s brand new VF Commodore, which isundergoing final assembly under tight security, with HRT’s Clayton headquartersunder complete lockdown ahead of next week’s unveiling of the exciting new generationHolden.
“BetweenJames and me, I’m tallest, so if Murph fitted my car it meant our options wereopen,” Tander said.
“He fittedquite comfortably in my car, which surprised me. That gives us flexibility.There’s nine months until Sandown, so we’ll see how the season pans out beforemaking any decisions.”
The HoldenRacing Team will unveil its new VF Commodore V8s next Monday, 11 February.
Built to V8Supercars’ new Car Of The Future regulations, the new model Commodore replacesHolden’s VE Series. With its 103 race wins, VE was the most successful racecarin Australian touring car history.