Two-time V8 Supercars Championship runner-up Greg Murphy has announced that he won’t be a full-time V8 Supercars driver next year.
The affable New Zealander was left high and dry by Kelly Racing after his contract with the four-car outfit was not renewed for next year, when the team moves to becoming known as Nissan Motorsport.
A loyal Holden driver, the 40-year-old has spent the last few weeks scrambling for one of the last few vacant Commodore seats on the 2013 grid.
Instead, he has declared that he will put his efforts into securing a frontline co-driver role in the endurance races at Sandown and Bathurst – he is a four-time winner at the latter in twenty starts.
One of the plum gigs he is rumoured to be lined up for is to serve as Garth Tander’s co-driver in the #1 TOLL Holden Racing Team entry – a formal announcement is expected in January.
The Kiwi made his full-time V8 Supercars debut in 1997, finishing an astounding fourth overall in the championship points race. Incredibly, he couldn’t land a full-time gig for the following season, but was back on the grid in 1999.
He finished runner-up in 2002 and 2003, breaking the Bathurst lap record with an astounding pole lap still dubbed the ‘Lap of the Gods’ by those who witnessed it.
In making his announcement yesterday afternoon, Murphy admitted it was bittersweet.
“While the option to consider another manufacturer presented itself, I was always going to remain loyal to Holden who have been incredibly supportive of my career since I first entered the series as an enduro driver with Craig Lowndes back in 1995,” he said.
“The facts are that the right full time Holden seat has not appeared for me despite some encouraging discussions along the way.
“I know I’m still capable of being very competitive as a full time racer but am comfortable to turn my attention to the right endurance seat for Sandown and Bathurst next year.”
Whether Murphy is able to return to the championship on a full-time basis in 2014 is another matter. Despite his experience, he’d be considered a poor long-term prospect given his age and recent injury issues, coupled with the fact that he offers prospective employers little in the way of personal sponsorship.
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