Murphy joins Sonic for Porsche Sprint Challenge tilt
By Mat Coch
Saturday 21st January, 2023 - 3:14pm
Ronan Murphy will make his Australian racing debut with Sonic Motor Racing Service in the 2023 Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge.
The 21-year-old New Zealander is one of a trio of Sonic-run drivers for the second-tier one-make category with Marcos Flack also joining alongside Harrison Goodman.
“I’m super pumped to join Team Sonic and join the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge for 2023,” said Murphy.
“It’s my first time racing in Australia and I couldn’t be more stoked to be doing it and joining a team like Sonic for the season.
“A huge thank you to Michael and Maria Ritter for the opportunity and all my supporters who have made this happen.”
The trio completed a test session a Phillip Island on Friday, an outing that proved to be Murphy’s first racing car experience on Australian soil.
“This was my first laps at Phillip Island today in a Gen II Porsche,” he said.
“I have a little bit of experience previously in New Zealand with Porsche but not this car and certainly not this track.
“I absolutely loved it, I have just been working on a few things with the team but we’re getting there slowly so I can’t wait for the season to roll around.”
Team owner Mick Ritter, a stalwart of Porsche competition, added: “This is going to be one of the most competitive Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge seasons on record, and I feel that we have the right mix to be very competitive.
“All three drivers, despite their youthfulness, have a vast array of experience in different categories. I know our team will be able to get the most out of them every race weekend.
“It was an important test for us at Phillip Island,” he continued.
“We have one more coming up at Winton before the series starts, so it’s great to get these guys in the cars, get them comfortable to launch into the season the best we can.”
Flack is the youngest of the trio at just 16.
He’s the son of Damien, who has competed in Carrera Cup Australia, Marcos Flack and has experience in formula machinery internationally, including Formula 3 and Formula 4 spec cars.
“It’s amazing to come home for a year and race in the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge with Sonic. I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.
“I’ve never driven a tin top before, so I’m looking forward to being home and being racing.
“Like everyone, I want to win the championship, but I’m also respectful that this is my first year in tin tops.
“The most important thing is that I want to learn as much as possible.”
Goodman meanwhile returns to the squad having graduated from its Formula Ford ranks in 2021 to Sprint Challenge last season.
“It’s great to be continuing this year in Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge with Sonic,” said Goodman.
“I’m really looking forward to this year. We showed lots of progress last year and I’m looking to continuing to grow and understanding the car.
“My goal is to be up the front of the pack. That’s the aim you always want to have.
“After a year of learning, this year is my chance to move forward, so I’m looking to make the steps I need to make to be up the front.”
Phillip Island hosts the 2023 season opener on March 3-5 in what is a six-round campaign that runs through to the Bathurst International on November 9-11.