Former Bathurst winner Greg Murphy returns to the event where his rallying career began only twelve months ago, the Joe’s Garage/Lonestar Rally Canterbury, looking to learn and have fun.
Murphy took to the stages in Ashley and Okuku Forest’s north of Christchurch last year and enjoyed the experience so much he stepped up his involvement, including moving into the Stadium Finance Vauxhall Chevette for the 2016 season.
After a career of top level motorsport, Murphy is enjoying the opportunity to run with no pressure and the time he and co-driver Mark Leonard can spend in the Vauxhall.
“It’s hard to put into words. The sport when it gets professional changes the way you look at it so much. When I first got into car racing, it was just pure adrenalin and excitement every single time. But as soon as money becomes such a big issue and you become paid, you are expected to do a big job and while that’s happening it’s amazing, but when it becomes harder for whatever reason and you are unable to perform at the level you want, things change in a hurry,” explains Murphy.
“To take a lot of steps back and do some motorsport where I feel like a kid again and the thrill and the rush that I’m getting out of it, it’s a pretty decent kind of drug I can tell you.”
While looking to enjoy himself, Murphy knows there will be no let up over the nine special stages, a lesson learnt the hard way at the season-opening Otago Rally.
I think I’ve learnt a few things since Otago, a little lack of concentration and taking your mind off the job for a split second and what that means so I’ll be making sure I don’t do that again. I was hugely disappointed to damage the car and miss out on the final five stages of what was just a terrific weekend. The motivation is to make sure you complete every kilometre of every stage because the fun is what it’s all about. It’s completely different to what I’m used to and the thrill I’m getting out of it is mega.”
Murphy is also grateful to the huge team of people that have made his participation possible.
“None of this would have started without Tony Gosling from Stadium Finance, he’s contributing so much to rallying, not just my involvement but so many others as well. He’s so passionate about it and we’ve become good mates and I really appreciate what he’s doing and being part of his team. Behind the scenes there has been a lot of work going on since Otago, it’s hard to believe how quick this has come around. There’s been a huge amount of work done to the Chevette, Nigel Barclay has been working hard, Mark Leonard has been working hard. Alan Dunn has repaired the car down in Timaru and has done an incredible job. There’s a huge team of guys there for the same reasons, they love it.”
The Joe’s Garage/Lonestar Rally Canterbury Rally Canterbury run on Sunday 5 July. After leaving the start at Rangiora at 7.40am, teams will cover nine special stages in the Ashley and Okuku Forests totalling 171km, before returning to the finish in Manchester St, Christchuch from 5.30pm.
Press Release by BB Media