After Russell Ingall announced back in April that he was coming out of retirement to race at this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000, Greg Murphy has announced that he’ll be returning to Mount Panorama, too.
Murphy, a four-time Bathurst winner, will partner fellow kiwi, Richie Stanaway, in a wildcard entry fielded by Erebus Motorsport and sponsored by Boost Mobile, following a social media campaign by Boost Mobile owner, Peter Adderton.
“Originally, the idea was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the fan reaction has been incredible, so I wanted to make this team happen for (the fans),” Adderton said on 8 June.
“I got on the phone to Greg and Richie and although they initially weren’t interested, it didn’t take too long for them to see what we were trying to do and for them to change their minds.
“We have an incredible relationship with the team at Erebus and Barry (Ryan, Erebus Motorsport CEO) understands better than most that the entertainment and fans are key to Supercars’ success.”
Both drivers are coming out of retirement for the one-off drive; Stanaway retired two years ago and Murphy seven years ago.
In his 22 previous starts at the Mount Panorama enduro (the first in a Toyota Carina!), Murphy won in 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2004, with his most famous moment arguably being the Lap of the Gods record-setting pole lap from 2003. Murphy’s last Bathurst start was in 2014.
“All of a sudden, here’s a group of people who are wanting and willing to make this happen,” Murphy said.
“I’m very fortunate and lucky to be presented with the opportunity to go back and race at a place that means so much to me.”
Stanaway had a shorter tenure in Supercars, running full-time in 2018-19, with enduro co-driver roles for two years prior to that. His best race result was at the 2017 Sandown 500, where he won alongside Cam Waters. At the Bathurst 1000, Stanaway’s best result was twelfth, for Super Black Racing in 2016 and Garry Rogers Motorsport in 2019, partnered by Chris Pither on both occasions.
“At first, I didn’t think Pete (Adderton) was being serious, like a lot of people, but then he reached out to me,” Stanaway said.
“I’ve had a really good relationship with Boost, it’s been great to have a sponsor that’s supported me and believed in me. I’m really grateful for their support and I’m glad we’re going ahead with it because I’m really looking forward to it.
“Murph has always been a big inspiration of mine and driving with Murph is one of the big reasons why I want to come back. It’s cool to have someone of his calibre back in the car at the biggest race of the year.
“Erebus are a team I’ve always admired, and they’ve done a great job over the past few years so I’m really looking forward to seeing what it’s all like from the inside.”
Murphy and Stanaway will run an Erebus-prepared ZB Commodore bearing the #51 that Murphy raced with from 2001 to 2012.
“The number 51 has become a signature that has been associated with me and my career for quite some time, so it will be cool to bring it back,” Murphy said.
“Peter (Adderton) played a significant role in how I came to be a full-time professional race car driver and now we are back here doing this together.
“Barry (Ryan) and I have worked together several times and we have a great respect for each other. It’s going to be fun to go back and reminisce on some of the stories and memories that we’ve had in the past and I’m looking forward to the journey.”
The 2021 Repco Bathurst 1000 will be held on 7-10 October.