Murphy sticks hand up for Toll HRT drive
Greg Murphy’s has put his hand up as a capable replacement for the departing Will Davison at the Toll Holden Racing Team next year.
The popular New Zealander is keen to remain in the sport, but since announcing that he’ll leave his current team Paul Morris Motorsport at the end of the season, Murphy has maintained that he will only continue as a full-time driver if he can find a competitive seat.
Not only does the factory Holden team fit that criteria, it might also be Murph’s only option.
After the Sydney Telstra 500, the Toll HRT will say farewell Davison – the driver of the #22 entry.
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The team has been keen on securing the services of championship leading Ford driver James Courtney, but failing that, needs to secure a fast, popular and promotable pilot.
Murphy told Speedcafe.com.au that he would grab the opportunity to drive for the factory Holden squad with both hands and sees himself as a capable replacement for Davison, who will move to Ford Performance Racing next season.
“Without a doubt,” Murphy told Speedcafe.com.au when quizzed about the chances of him returning to the Holden Racing Team.
“But it’s not simple – nothing is simple. Having the right person in the #22 car is not an easy thing, and I’m sure they’ve got plenty of partners that they need to talk to, to ensure that everybody is happy.
“In a lot of cases, I’m not the right bloke. I’m not the kind of driver you go to after the few years that I’ve had.
“Also, at 38 years of old, it’s not exactly the ideal scenario for those guys to be employing someone to do that job. But, sometimes things don’t happen the way you plan, and they may not have any options that fit their whole criteria.
“I might not fit all of the criteria, but I probably fit quite a few. HRT now has to make the decision that’s right for them.”
Murphy is no stranger to the Holden Racing Team. He made his V8 Supercars debut with the mighty squad in 1995, partnering Craig Lowndes at the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000.
In 1996, the pair won both of those endurances races, and when Lowndes decided to pursue an international open wheel career, Murphy slotted in as a full-time HRT driver in 1997 alongside Peter Brock. The Kiwi won the first race of that season and would eventually finish fourth in the title, plus win the Sandown 500 with Lowndes.
In 1998, Lowndes returned, Brock retired and Mark Skaife moved in, putting Murphy on the sidelines as the team’s reserve driver. He left the team in 1999, driving for Gibson Motorsport for two seasons.
In 2001, Murphy returned to the Tom Walkinshaw fold, driving the Kmart Racing Commodore for four years, winning two Bathurst 1000s.
He left Walkinshaws in 2005, going on to drive for the likes of PWR Racing, Tasman Motorsport and Paul Morris Motorsport.
Murphy says that he parted with Walkinshaw Racing on good terms and would relish a chance with one of the best teams in V8 Supercars.
“My relationship with those guys is fine,” Murph told Speedcafe.com.au
“We still get along well. I still know quite a few people there.
“HRT is still only one of four teams that have won races this year. That’s what they do and that’s why they’re still a great team.
“To their standards, they haven’t had the year that they’d be hoping for or expect, but they have still been better than most.
“(But) I haven’t made a decision for next year, the only decision I’ve made so far is that I’m looking for a new home next year.”