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Greg Murphy’s return to Mount Panorama officially on track

The long-awaited return of Greg Murphy to the Repco Bathurst 1000 has officially started after the New Zealand legend conducting his first full Supercars test in more than eight years at Winton Motor Raceway today.

The four-time Repco Bathurst 1000 winner flew from his homeland to Australia yesterday (Tuesday) to jump aboard the Erebus Motorsport-prepared #51 Boost Mobile Commodore ZB that he will drive with fellow Kiwi Richie Stanaway.

Murphy and Stanaway shared the driving duties over the course of the day, including practice starts and longer runs.

It will mark eight years since Murphy last competed at The Great Race. After contesting the 2014 race with James Courtney for the Holden Racing Team, Murphy retired from competitive racing, taking on a role with the Repco Supercars broadcast team until the 2020 COVID-interrupted season.

A deal with Boost Mobile boss Peter Adderton and Stanaway has dragged Murph back in competitive racing for one last crack at the race that turned the fast Kiwi into a living legend.

Murphy first won the Bathurst 1000 in 1996 with Craig Lowndes before further success in 1999 partnered by Steven Richards and back-to-back in 2003-04 alongside Rick Kelly

The Kiwi legend was pleased with the day and is excited to kickstart the Boost Mobile-backed Wildcard campaign.

“Finally, someone told me it’s 12 months since we announced it, so we’re at the racetrack a year on,” Murphy said.

“A lot of stuff has happened since then and to be honest coming into 2022 I still wasn’t really sure if we were going to go and what we were going to do, but the stars have finally aligned and we’re at Winton doing some laps for the first time.

“I haven’t driven around this place in the dry in a Supercar since 2014, which Winton and the cars have evolved a lot since.

“This test is so important to have got out of the way, we can walk away from today and have a mental picture as well as an understanding of the car and what we have got to work on to think about before the next test.

“The expectations were to just gain familiarity of the vehicle, the systems, working with the team and engineer, and those little pieces. So far, that’s all been going really, really well and once we finish today, with this under our belt I think the move to the next test in a couple of months’ time it’s going to set us up pretty well.

“We’re pretty comfortable in the car as in the ergonomics and everything are pretty good, we’re not too far apart from where we need to be for both of us.”

Stanaway impressed on his return to driving a Supercar, but not just on-track as Murphy explained.

“Richie is straight away talking like a racecar driver as well, what he’s asking, what he’s looking at, what he’s focused on and for me that’s the highlight of the day really,” he emphasised.

“Seeing his enthusiasm and how he’s adapting straight away into racecar driver mode is awesome because it’s been a long time for him between drinks as well and I think he’s only driven one racecar since 2019.

“For him to feel the way he is and show the enthusiasm straight out of the gate is exciting for all of us.”

The Repco Bathurst 1000 will be held at Mount Panorama on October 6-9.