Greg Murphy Racing searches for ‘gun’ driver

Speedcafe.com

Tuesday 18th January, 2011 - 2:31pm

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Steve Owen and GMR took out the 2010 Fujitsu Series title

Steve Owen and GMR took out the 2010 Fujitsu Series title

Greg Murphy Racing team principal Kevin Murphy is currently searching for a driver capable of winning the 2011 Fujitsu V8 Supercars Series.

Having taken out the series last year with the now Paul Morris Motorsport driver Steve Owen, GMR will step up its operation from three to four cars in 2011.

Multiple Commodore Cup Champion Geoff Emery and promising young Kiwi Daniel Jilesen have resigned for this season, to be joined by South African teenager Brandon Auby and a yet-to-be-found fourth driver.

With the likes of Triple Eight Race Engineering, Paul Morris Motorsport and Walkinshaw Racing all expected to field competitive entries in this year’s series, Murphy believes he must now find a ‘top-notch’ driver if his team are to retain the title.

“We need to find a gun that can go and win the championship for us,” Murphy told Speedcafe.com.au.

“Seeing that all these other teams are running all these top-notch drivers, we’ve sort of had to reschedule what we’re doing, so we’ve gone out looking for an ace.

“We’ve been talking to drivers that have been in the championship in recent times and that would be capable of going back and doing a very good job.

“At the end of the day they’ve got to have a budget, but we’ve certainly got the door open.

“We’ve spoken to a number of guys that have gone for cheaper options, but I’m still of the mind that you get what you pay for in life, and I think we want to do it at no lesser level than what we did with Steve.”

After positive first seasons with the team, Murphy expects Emery and Jilesen to feature strongly in 2011, while recently crowned WesBank V8 Championship winner Auby will make a title challenge the year after.

“Daniel and Geoff will be in the mix this year without a doubt,” said Murphy.

“With their experience, they’re going to really attack this year with the idea of finishing races and keeping out of trouble, as consistency does reward you.

“Young Brandon Auby has had limited experience in these cars, but that said he’s done a very good job in the two evaluation days that we’ve carried out with him, and he has a lot to learn.

“But certainly as long as everything goes right and he comes back, he’ll be a championship contender in 2012, without any shadow of a doubt.”

GMR is also expecting to field at least one entry in the International V8 Supercars Championship endurance races, providing that the conditions are right.

“We will certainly look at the Wildcard again, but we’d certainly look to do it a lot earlier – we don’t want to be waiting around to see if it’s going to be approved or not,” explained Murphy.

“So it’s either a proper attempt this time or nothing. I know Geoff Emery is keen to have another go, and if we could find a good partner for him, that’d be something we’d be looking to do.”

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