Greg Murphy completes hat-trick at Highlands

Greg Murphy claims clean sweep in opening V8 SuperTourer round in New Zealand. Pic: Andrew Bright

Greg Murphy claims clean sweep in opening V8 SuperTourer round in New Zealand. Pic: Andrew Bright

Ace driver Greg Murphy continued his amazing start to the 2014 BNT V8 SuperTourers Championship by completing a clean sweep of the three races at Highlands Park.

Following on from yesterday’s triumph, Murphy bagged a double in a severely depleted field highlighted by the absence of Scott McLaughlin and Shane Van Gisbergen with the Tekno V8 Supercars driver competing in his maiden Daytona 24 Hour race.

Hard on Murphy’s tail in the second race again was Andre Heimgartner with Richard Moore claiming second in the final heat.

Heimgartner’s fourth in the final race was enough for him to seal second overall for the first of seven rounds in what is his best performance to date in the V8ST Championship.

Murphy alluded to the fact that he had a headstart on many of his rivals having raced at Highlands in the 101 GT endurance race in November.

“I’ve got an advantage because I’ve been here before,” Murphy said.

“We haven’t done anything to the car (since last season); we haven’t had time since last year.”

Mark Gibson achieved a highly creditable breakthrough as he came third in his first meeting as a full-time driver in BNT V8 SuperTourers.

He had been a co-driver in the endurance events last year but has now taken over John McIntyre’s Ford Falcon.

“We kept it clean and looked after our tyres so we had a car we could fight with at the end, Gibson said.

“John was on the radio mentoring me – he’s very calming, which makes a big difference.”

Hamilton driver Ant Pedersen, who finished a close second in the 2013 championship, took a third and fourth in the first two races with his Ford, but in the final he came last after losing time in the pits with a power steering problem.

Aucklander Simon Evans also started with a fourth and a third, but he dropped down the field in the final after spinning his Holden.

Angus Fogg did not take part in today’s races after a heavy impact against a wall yesterday caused serious damage to his Holden.

The seven-round series continues at the New Zealand Grand Prix at Manfeild in two weeks.

Championship points after round 1: Murphy 291, Heimgartner 228, Moore 213, Pedersen 192, Gibson 172, Morgan Haber (Australia, Holden) 158.

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