A fired up and refreshed Greg Murphy is eyeing his first domestic New Zealand title in more than 17 years this season in the V8 SuperTourers.
Murphy, 40, became available for the SuperTourer championship when he wasn't picked up by a team for the Australian Supercars series.
He will race twice at Pukekohe this season, as well as in the other North and South Island events. He kicks off his season this coming weekend at Hampton Downs for round one of the 2013 series.
A fully fit Murphy intends to put the frustrations of his 2012 campaign firmly behind him.
"Being punted off in the last race at the last round within sight of the flag sort of got the whole team's back up and they are fairly revved up to come out fighting right from the first green light at Hampton Downs next week," he said.
"We were super competitive at nearly every round last year so there's no reason why we should not be right on the pace at Hampton Downs. We proved last year the team had a solid understanding of the car very early on and we did not have any reliability issues like some of the other teams. This season it's all about putting that speed and consistency into a full campaign and showing these young guns there's life in the old dog yet. It should be a bit of fun."
The 2013 field has grown and, in Murphy's opinion, is better than that which began the V8 SuperTourer era a year ago.
"Just look at the names in there - Van Gisbergen, McLaughlin, Baird, McIntyre, Booth, Gaunt, Moore, Manuell - all of those guys are easily capable of bagging a race win at some stage and if they can find consistency, could easily mount a title challenge.
"Even the smaller teams with the younger drivers are getting a grip of the cars and showing real pace - look at Edgell and McLennan's speed at Ruapuna. No question, this is going to be a hugely competitive season and with twenty or more cars on the grid. Since the first SuperTourer race last year, there was no doubt that this Championship was the only real V8 series in NZ! The fans know where to come to watch the best touring car action in NZ and I can't wait to be a part of it again."
The SuperTourer season begins this weekend with the Rock Rumble at Hampton Downs on Saturday and Sunday.
- © Fairfax NZ News