Renewed by Bathurst boost

GREG MURPHY
Last updated 05:00 23/10/2011

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The motorsport community was rocked last weekend by the British IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon's fiery death at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Dan was to compete as one of the 28 international drivers at this weekend's Gold Coast 600.

I didn't know him personally but his success in the American open-wheeler scene made him a racing world household name.

He pulled off a dramatic last-corner win in this year's Indy 500, making him a two-time champion of the great race.

It seems questions were being asked by some drivers about the risks associated with the high-banked Las Vegas oval.

The cars can run four abreast at speeds in excess of 340km/h, which doesn't leave much room for error – if any.

The 15-car wreck looked more like a plane crash. It was a miracle no one else was seriously injured.

There is always a knee-jerk reaction to such tragedies but the sport is still incredibly safe and improvements will continue to make it even safer.

Our great race, the Bathurst 1000, lived up to its reputation two weeks ago with one of the most thrilling finishes ever.

Finishing on the podium and starting the race from pole was by far our best result of the year, and having it happen at Bathurst makes it extra special.

It was my first pole in nearly six years so being able to reset the counter at Bathurst was very rewarding.

My co-driver this weekend is Brit Oliver Gavin, who races a Corvette in the American Le Mans series. He also competes in other events and has a pretty long resume of success.

The two 300km races are a tough format and after initially being a bit sceptical I am now a big fan of the remodelled event.

The Gold Coast track has always been one of my favourites and still is, even after it was shortened to reduce running costs.

The result at Bathurst has given me new confidence and the plan is to keep the roll going this weekend in the quest for a place in the championship top 10.

Greg Murphy is a V8 Supercars driver

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