Murphy looking forward to the Pukekohe buzz

Last updated 13:16 21/03/2014

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Greg Murphy is looking forward to the buzz drivers get from flirting with danger in their V8 SuperTourers at Pukekohe this weekend.

The reigning champion heads to the TR Group 250 meeting as leader of the 2014 championship after the first two rounds and focused on enjoying racing his high-power Holden.

"It's all about getting back in a car and getting in some racing, that's what it's all about," Murphy said. "I'm just keen to get back behind the wheel."

This round of the Super Series will again see the track challenge drivers with the high-speed run over the hill on to the front straight and the bumpy surface.

"The hill is a fantastic part of the circuit, there's absolutely no question about the buzz you get coming over the hill," the Hawke's Bay Holden racer said.

"It's an iconic piece of track. They don't build racetracks like that any more - it's got that element of danger to it so that separates it from some of the other racetracks that have become a bit sedate.

"I don't mind the bumps, it's character, it's what it's all about. You've got to have things that are interesting. There's no shortage of interesting parts to Pukekohe."

Murphy has won all six races so far this season and rivals like Simon Evans have to respect his achievements at Pukekohe.

After Murphy won four V8 Supercar rounds there in the first half of the 2000s people started calling it "Murph's Turf", although Murphy himself thinks it's time to retire that nickname.

Aucklander Evans, 23, came so close to winning a race at Manfeild in the previous round, leading convincingly until a minor problem slowed his Holden.

"Pukekohe is Murph's Turf and it's going to be harder than Manfeild but I'm really excited by it," Evans says.

"I think Pukekohe is special to everybody. The sensation of going over that hill at 180kmh or more is a pretty cool feeling. You really know you're alive there when you've got a brand-new set of tyres in qualifying, it really gets the heart going."

Teenage Aucklander Andre Heimgartner, who stands second in the championship in his Holden, is a young driver on the fast track to success. He is also contesting Australia's V8 Supercar Development Series and he has been signed as a development driver by the respected Dick Johnson Racing team.

Another young Aucklander, 23-year-old Richard Moore, is also on the rise. A team-mate of Murphy in the M3 outfit, he is third in the championship and says he is very hungry for more success.

Tim Edgell won two races last year but his 2014 results have hampered by a shortage of power. His team believe they have sorted that now and since Edgell usually goes well at Pukekohe he should again be a major threat.

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Qualifying is on Saturday with three races on Sunday.

- Fairfax Media

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