Murphy gears up for V8 Supercars restart

CHRIS BARCLAY
Last updated 05:00 13/09/2012
Greg Murphy
Getty Images
RETURN: Greg Murphy is primed for a return to his favoured endurance race format in the V8 Supercars championship.

Relevant offers

Motorsport

Formula One driver Fernando Alonso leaves hospital but will miss final test in Barcelona Fernando Alonso crash blamed on wind by McLaren F1 team Formula One Ferrari thrills crowd thrills at Teretonga Park Mitch Evans signs with Russian Time for GP2 2015 Ferrari play down promising Formula One test performances Halligan breaks through in sleek machine National 125cc motocross champion Josiah Natzke's talent shines through in Timaru Crash sends sprintcar title south Fernando Alonso in heavy crash at Barcelona in Formula One testing Race cars not just about racing

The days of Greg Murphy assuming the role of virtual back-seat driver are numbered now that the Kiwi motorsport legend is primed for a return to his favoured endurance race format in the V8 Supercars championship after back surgery.

The 40-year-old makes his long-awaited return to the 2012 title race in this weekend's Sandown 500 on the outskirts of Melbourne. Murphy cannot wait to strap himself into the Kelly Racing Holden.

An opening-round accident in the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide in March caused two injury layoffs and surgery - the latest spanning four rounds after a procedure to fuse vertebrae together.

Murphy, who returned to testing in Sydney last month, has been cleared to retake the wheel from 1997 Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve.

"It's good to be back in the championship again; it's been very strange sitting back for the last three months not being a part of it," he said.

Murphy has had an affinity with the calendar's long-distance events. He won at Sandown in 1996-97 and is a four-time winner of the Bathurst 1000, scheduled for October 4 to 7.

He missed a couple of rounds after his high-speed crash during training at the Clipsal.

He then needed further remedial work after experiencing more discomfort during the Philip Island 300 in May.

Although his Holden proved difficult to handle when he was able to drive, Murphy hoped the enduro races would present a more level playing field when he teamed up with Owen Kelly.

"When you're not having the best sort of year in the regular races, you can bring some form to the enduros," he said. "It takes a bit more thinking, there's more strategies involved, it's not just down to the team that's got the biggest bucks and the fastest car. You can put yourself in there and give yourself a chance, more so than the other races."

Murphy proved that point last year when he finished third at Bathurst, the highlight of an otherwise challenging year.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who is your favourite V8 Supercars driver?

Scott McLaughlin

Shane Van Gisbergen

Fabian Coulthard

Jamie Whincup

Mark Winterbottom

Craig Lowndes

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Blog