Richards, Murphy race legendary Nissan Skyline
By Iwan Jones
Monday 13th March, 2023 - 12:26pm
Steven Richards and Greg Murphy were honoured to race Gibson Motorsport’s legendary Nissan Skyline HR31 GTS-R at the 34th Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motorsport.
As part of the 2023 Heritage Touring Cars season-opener, the duo joined the Group C and A Class at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, with Richards driving his father’s 1990 Australian Touring Car Championship-winning Nissan Skyline HR31 GTS-R, while Murphy was on board the Nissan Skyline HR31 GTS-R, previously raced by five-time Australian Touring Car Championship winner Mark Skaife, George Fury and Win Percy.
Richards began the showcase historic event by topping Qualifying over second-placed Murphy, with the latter returning serve in Race 1, claiming victory from Chris Stillwell (Ford Sierra RS500) and Richards.
Murphy made it back-to-back wins in Race 2, as Richards moved up to second, with Stillwell completing the podium.
Edward Sansil (BMW E30 M3 Evolution) picked up the victory in Race 3, with Anthony Alford (Nissan HR31 GTS-R) second and Stillwell third, while Richards and Murphy finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Richards capped off the outing with victory in Race 4 as Murphy and Stillwell rounded out the podium.
“It was a real privilege to take part in the event, it was the first time in a long time that three Nissan Skyline GTSR3s have ran together at the one event,” Richards told Speedcafe.com.
“I haven’t previously driven that car, I’d never driven that car until Thursday practice.
“It is so cool to see all of these different cars coming together in this category.
“We were racing with the spirit of the category in mind.”
Richards and Murphy privileged to be a part of Gibson Motorsport reunion
The five-time Bathurst 1000 winner added that was great to reunite with key personnel at Gibson Motorsport at the meeting.
“We were all in the same garage, we had Alan Heaphy who was the original team manager at Gibson Motorsport there, Pete West who built the engines in the day there, Fred Gibson came down on Saturday and obviously dad, so it was a bit of a reunion of sorts, having everyone there over the weekend,” Richards said.
When asked, he also said it was special to pick up a race win in a car that played a pivotal role in his father’s 1990 ATCC title victory.
“It means a lot, it also means a lot for the history of that car which really set up dad’s 1990 Australian Touring Car Championship,” Richards reflected.
“He did the first six rounds of the championship in that car, before the Nissan [Skyline R32] GT-R came on board for the final two rounds, but he’d already established the lead in the championship before then.
“Even from dad’s perspective, it is one of the best race cars he ever drove, because it was a bit of an underdog at the time.
“To have everyone there on the day and to get the result is nice for them.
“For the final race, Murph and I did a formed finish across the line, which is really good for what the weekend was about.”
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