Murray switches to McElrea for Carrera Cup campaign
Cooper Murray has switched from Ash Seward Motorsport to McElrea Racing for the remainder of the 2019 Porsche Payce Carrera Cup series.
The Victorian stepped into Carrera Cup this season with ASM, competing in the opening three rounds of the series with the squad.
However, he’s since elected to switch allegiances to the Queensland-based McElrea Racing in an effort to follow in the footsteps of Matt Campbell and Jaxon Evans.
For Murray, it was those driver development opportunities that ultimately proved the lure, adding his departure from ASM had nothing to do with car preparation.
“We’ve all thought about it and McElrea is the best choice for my racing career, and that’s the path we’ve taken,” Murray told Speedcafe.com.
“The cars (that ASM prepares) are probably the same pace, it’s more about my point of view and me as a driver and what (McElrea) can do for my future.”
“The McElrea program that they have, it’s worked. You can see with Jaxon Evans and Matt Campbell,” he added.
“My parents and I have made the decision that it’s the best thing for me and my career if I want to move forward is to be with McElrea.
“They teach you a whole lot, and make sure you’re ready. And they’ve won championships, which is what you want.”
The 17-year-old is targeting a future berth in the Porsche Junior Shootout, a competition McElrea alumni Evans and Campbell have both succeeded at in recent years.
“My focus is Porsche, to get to the Shootout, and then to go over the Europe and race with Porsche. That’s my focus,” he explained.
Currently in the midst of his debut season in Carrera Cup, Murray is looking to use the remainder of 2019 as a learning experience ahead of a title tilt in 2020.
“We came into this year with the goal just to learn; learn all new tracks, I’ve only been to two of the eight tracks so it’s just to learn and get as much experience as we can,” he said.
“That still hasn’t changed. We still want to learn as much as we can and make sure we’re 100 percent prepared to go out next year fighting or the championship.”
McElrea Racing owner Andry McElrea predicts a bright future for Murray, who starred when racing in the Porsche Wilson Security GT3 Cup Challenge last year.
“He is proven that he has got the pace so we are looking forward to getting our hands on him and developing him in more ways than just as a driver,” McElrea told Speedcafe.com.
“Last year in Cup Challenge he was a standout in his first year in Porsches. This year for whatever reason he hasn’t been a standout.
“He was banging wheels with Luffy (Warren Luff) at Phillip Island and we obviously rate him very highly and he was a match for him in not the best of situations.
“If we can put him in a better situation and develop him like the way we have with some of our other youngsters, then I’m very confident we can get him right to the front.”
Murray currently sits ninth in the points standings after four rounds with a best finish of fifth in the opening race of the campaign.
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia continues with its fourth round at Hidden Valley alongside the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship on June 14-16.