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Murphy reflects on Bathurst 1000 comeback

IT was mission accomplished for Greg Murphy on his Repco Bathurst 1000 return, even if he’s guilty of having wanted more.

The 50-year-old lined up for his first Great Race since 2014 as part of an Erebus Motorsport/Boost Mobile wildcard partnering Richie Stanaway.

From the outset, Murphy was mindful of keeping expectations in check, targeting nothing more than finishing on the lead lap.

They did just that, placing 11th having started fourth.

“I’m still struggling to put it into words now,” said Murphy, who seemed to make a concerted effort to pick his battles, particularly in a chaotic first stint.

“I’m pretty happy to have finished because I said right from the beginning if we actually finished on the lead lap after 1000km around here I’d be ecstatic.

“As soon as you start competing again and you see what could be and what could have been and all that sort of stuff, then all of a sudden you want more.”

Murphy (right) with Richie Stanaway and Mark Larkham. Pic: Nathan Wong

The Kiwi legend doesn’t want more in the form of further Bathurst 1000 starts, though.

“It was interesting out there, I learnt a lot,” he continued.

“I’m never going to have to use it again though, so this is all going to be parked in the back of the brain for the rest of eternity.

“It was great though to see at the end there just the challenge that Richie withstood and put on.

“I think at the end of the day we really should be happy with 11th considering a pretty challenging sort of day in tricky circumstances.

Stanaway at the wheel of Car #51. Pic: Mark Horsburgh

“I had a few puckers in the rain on the slicks there… I didn’t like that at all. But thanks to the team, thanks to everybody that has contributed and supported the wildcard all the way through it.

“At the end of the day we should be stoked.

“We came here and had some amazing things that happened and we finished the race. Plenty didn’t, not surprised given how some of them were driving, but we got through it.”

All eyes are now on whether Stanaway can use his performances to propel himself back onto the full-time Repco Supercars Championship grid.

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