V8 » 02 September 2008
Richards, Murphy form enduro pairing.
The Tasman Motorsport-run Sprint Gas Racing team has confirmed that its regular V8 Supercar line-up of Greg Murphy and Jason Richards will be paired in the #3 Holden Commodore at this year's L&H 500 and the Super Cheap Auto Bathurst 1000 endurance races.
The team, which has had mixed results this season, is hoping that bring the two drivers' experience together under one roof will make them a more formidable pairing. Murphy has won four times at Bathurst - in 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2004 - while Richards was the star at Mount Panorama in 2005, when he took runner-up honours, and Tasman expects them to be amongst the strongest driver pairings on the grid this year.
“I think that Greg and Jason are two of the most impressive drivers in the championship, they work well with each other, they have good ideas and they complement each other's driving style; pairing them was a no-brainer,” team manager Jeff Grech said, confidently expecting his driver to move towards the championship top ten by the end of the season.
“The team has spared no effort in completely refurbishing both cars for these events. All componentry has been checked and double-checked - the preparation by the team has been some of the best I've seen in my career. Now we hope that our efforts produce results at both Phillip Island and Bathurst and that we take some good form through the final several rounds of the season.
“The championship is close - you saw what a good round at Queensland did for Russell Ingall on the points table - and I'm confident that we can gather some good points and finish the year on a high note.”
Richards and Murphy have been well-matched in terms of results this season, with the former just shading their personal championship battle by one place and two points after eight rounds.
“The team has been working towards the endurance rounds all season, so I think we'll be fast,” Richards said, “We've put a lot of work in to the development of these cars - my car has qualified in the top ten for the past four rounds and we've had good race pace.
“The team has traditionally been strong at Phillip Island and Bathurst and both circuits rate as favourites for Murph' and myself. The endurance rounds tend to bring out our best, and I think we proved at Bathurst last year that we should not be discounted.”
Murphy, meanwhile, said that he had had no hesitation driving Richards' Commodore in the two endurance events.
“I'm more than happy to be driving a car other than mine,” the Kiwi veteran admitted, “It's not like I haven't done this before, I drove car #15 in the 2004 endurance campaign, and Jason's car has a good chassis set-up and has shown strong speed. We all agree that car three gives us the best opportunity to win.”
Murphy's regular mount will, in turn, be campaigned by experienced V8 campaigner Mark Noske, who joins the team for a third consecutive year, and current Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series driver Dale Woods, who makes his main series debut at the L&H 500 at Phillip Island over 12-14 September. The Super Cheap Auto Bathurst 1000 follows on the weekend of 9-12 October.
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