Murphy seals second BNT V8 SuperTourers championship
Murphy seals second straight BNT V8 SuperTourers championship
Greg Murphy wrapped up his second straight BNT V8 SuperTourers championship with two more victories at Pukekohe’s ITM 500 meeting today.
With two races tomorrow to complete the 2014 series, Murphy has established an unbeatable points lead over fellow Holden driver Andre Heimgartner from Auckland.
Murphy did not have things all his own way in either race but still extended his 2014 record to 10 wins from 11 races.
He led race one from pole but young Aucklander Simon Evans came from third to first with two decisive passing moves at the hairpin, first on Pedersen and then on Murphy himself.
Evans has really come to the fore this season and his Holden was clearly fast, but his debut victory was not to come.
Pedersen attacked Murphy at the hairpin but he braked too late, ploughed ahead and hit Evans. It was not a heavy hit but it pushed Evans into a spin, dropping him from first to 10th Evans regained some ground by finishing sixth.
“I feel real sorry for Simon,” Murphy, who had praised Evans’ driving earlier in the championship, said.
“I saw Ant coming and gave him heaps of room, but he couldn’t pull up in time.
“I’m just doing what I have to do.”
Murphy’s M3 team-mate, Aucklander Richard Moore, took second ahead of Heimgartner, Aucklander Andrew Waite and Australian Steve Owen, all in Holdens.
Evans, who had also missed a probable victory at Manfeild earlier in the season, was clearly upset.
"To say I'm gutted would sum it up," he said. "We had a very good car and I was feeling really confident."
Murphy led again in race two but Heimgartner was closing in – till the race was stopped because of a heavy crash by Waite. The driver walked away without serious injury.
“We’ve got a new team and the car is really good now,” Heimgartner, who is now second in the championship, said. “I think I could have had a decent crack at him if the race had gone full distance.”
Murphy had not realised his second victory clinched the championship but when questioned he did some quick mental arithmetic and smiled as he realised the title was in the bag.
Moore secured his second podium finish of the day but was disappointed to finish third. “I would like to be up front; I’m disappointed the race was cut short,” he said.
Pedersen dropped from second to third in the championship after a disastrous day that saw him finish last in both races.
He received a drive-through penalty in race one for hitting Evans – for which he apologised personally to Evans – and overshot a corner early in race two.
Owen was fourth in race two, followed by Evans and Auckland Holden driver Tim Edgell.
The 2014 championship was reduced from seven to four rounds because the organisation rejigged the schedule so that the next series will run from September to April rather than over the calendar year.
While Murphy has wrapped up the championship, the points from second to fifth are very close: Murphy 1005, Heimgartner 732, Pedersen 714, Moore 711, Evans 709.