Murphy reflects on ‘honour’ of landing in TV role
Sunday 22nd December, 2019 - 12:35pm
Greg Murphy says he is “honoured” to have landed in a role as a television pit reporter in Supercars having not enjoyed his brief time as an enduro co-driver.
The four-time Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 winner returned to the Holden Racing Team (Walkinshaw Racing) as a Pirtek Enduro Cup co-driver in 2013 after a self-described “shocking” 2012 season.
In two years at the Clayton outfit as partner to James Courtney, Murphy picked up a second and a fifth at Sandown but recorded four DNFs in the other six races, including a sizeable crash in the 2013 Bathurst 1000.
He took the opportunity to move into television upon the commencement of the current landmark arrangement in 2015, and has served as a pit reporter and Super2 expert commentator on the world feed ever since.
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Murphy says he is grateful for the transition and describes his current circumstances, which include multiple other jobs in his native New Zealand, as “a pretty amazing position”.
“I’m pretty lucky, to be honest, to have stepped out, moved back to New Zealand, and have this opportunity and the job that I have working in Supercar land; I find myself in a pretty amazing position,” he told the Below The Bonnet podcast.
“I feel really honoured to have it because it’s timing, isn’t it? It’s about being in the right place at the right time and I think I was in the right place at the right time for that because, between you and me, I didn’t like the co-driver thing, I didn’t find a rhythm there, it was a bit of a struggle.
“I think HRT at the time was also having a bit of a struggle but I didn’t fall into that zone very well at all and I was 40-something at the time, and I didn’t enjoy not being in control or being the lead driver.
“To make that decision to not drive anymore and then fall into a situation with Fox coming along with the broadcast thing and then find a role, I feel like I’m pretty lucky.
“On top of that, I travel backwards and forwards between Australia and New Zealand, which is something I always did anyway – I was always heading off to New Zealand when I lived in Melbourne – but I do some stuff for Sky (Sports) over there, do a motorsport show over there, and still got plenty going on with other corporates and things that I had, do a heap of road safety stuff these days, so I’m really busy with that.
“There’s not a dull moment, to be honest.”
Murphy also affirmed that, while proud of his career, he does not miss driving due to the regular sense of frustration which competitors experience, which he is constantly reminded of in the pit reporter role.
“I certainly reflect (on my career) more now from the position that I’m in, walking up and down the pit lane, watching everyone go about their business… it’s the pain on people’s faces,” he explained.
“You’re so engrossed in what you’re doing within the walls between you and the next team, and that’s what you do, you have to be.
“But next door, there’s all the different challenges that they’re having, and next door (to that) there’s all the different challenges, and regardless of (whether) someone’s going out every race and dominating and doing what (Scott) McLaughlin’s doing, or doing what Red Bull (Triple Eight) did at the Gold Coast, they have still got their challenges, because they are still trying to do their thing, they’re just used to a different level constantly.
“For me, watching all that going on is really interesting, and watching what happened at Bathurst was just mind-blowing, and talking to people and seeing people’s reactions and all that kind of stuff was just off (the) scale.
“I want the sport to be successful, I want people to engage with it, and so when I see what happened at Bathurst and all that kind of stuff, I look at it from the point of view that ‘There are going to be so many eyeballs watching this,’ and it’s exciting and people talking about it, regardless if they’re throwing rocks or not, or they are pro that or against that, they’re talking about Supercars and that’s what we want.
“But it’s the pain on people’s faces, and that’s the bit I don’t miss, because I know… and so that’s my reminder, and when I get asked on a daily basis, pretty much, ‘Oh, do you miss it?’ I go, ‘You know what? I’m good.’”