Greg Murphy samples revised Pukekohe circuit

Greg Murphy takes a tour around revised Pukekohe. Pic: Ross Land

Greg Murphy takes a tour around a revised Pukekohe. Pic: Ross Land

Kiwi racing royalty Greg Murphy has given his unequivocal seal of approval to the $6.6million changes to the historic Pukekohe Park circuit.

Ahead of round 3 of the V8 Supercars Championship’s return to Pukekohe from April 12-14, Murphy was impressed by the changes on a media tour today.

Extensive work including three new corners on the back straight, debris fencing, kerbing, partial resurfacing, new pit garages, control buildings are part of the upgrades for V8 Supercars to return to the south Auckland track for the first time since 2007.

Murphy has won a dozen touring car races at the circuit since the 1990’s which has prompted him to be labelled the “Prince Of Pukekohe” and is the event’s ambassador.

“For those like me that know it well, you will hardly recognise it. The changes are quite stunning,” Murphy said.

New back straight chicane. Pic: Ross Land

New back straight chicane. Pic: Ross Land

“For starters it is a much safer circuit which it needed to be. Overall the changes are fantastic and it has really injected new life into the circuit, which is pretty fitting given it is the 50th anniversary of Pukekohe.”

Murphy, who has been ruled out from gaining a wildcard into the V8 Supercar event, CLICK HERE to read Speedcafe.com’s breaking story last week, said he was initially reticent about the changes made to the circuit especially the controversial new corners on the back straight.

“But after seeing them and driving around it, they are going to add a significant new challenge to drivers and some new passing opportunities.

“At the same time the rest of the track itself is unchanged in its nature and so it is still fast and flowing with all the bumps that has makes Pukekohe such a great circuit.”

The Holden driver, who won the V8 Supercars Championship round three years in succession at Pukekohe from 2001 to 2003, believes the fans will also be the big winners.

“With the new overbridge out to the new corners, the spectators are going to get close to what is going to be some serious action during the racing.

Contractors are putting the finishing touches to the facility including turfing, electrical and painting ahead of the ITM 400.

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