MURPHY TO RACE BATHURST SIERRA AT PUKEKOHE

The Peanut Slab Sierra made three Bathurst 1000 starts - this is its last in 1990 driven by Robb Gravett and Gianfranco Brancatelli. Photo: an1images.com / Graeme Neander.

FOUR-TIME Bathurst 1000 winner Greg Murphy is getting back behind the wheel for the Repco Supercars Championship event at Pukekohe on September 9-11 – but not behind the wheel of a Supercar.

The Kiwi will drive the ex-Peanut Slab Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth Group A car in the supporting Archibalds Historic Touring Car support category at the event that marks the return of Supercars to New Zealand for the first time since 2019.

The Kiwi-based Archibalds Historic Touring Car category is home to a range of touring cars in New Zealand. It’s largely populated by Group A and Super Touring cars.

The Sierra that Murphy will drive is not unfamiliar to him given it’s the same car he drove with Kayne Scott in the Nissan-Mobil 500 Series at Wellington and Pukekohe 30 years ago in 1992.

The car, recently been purchased by Kiwi collector Pete Sturgeon, was the very first touring car Murphy raced in his career.

Murphy and Scott drove the Mark Petch/Peanut Slab Sierra in the 1992 Nissan Mobil 500 races. This is from the Pukekohe race, where the duo finish fourth.

Murphy won’t be the only big name competing in the Pukekohe support category as John Bowe will step behind the wheel of a locally owned, ex-Shell Dick Johnson Racing Sierra.

The car Bowe will drive is the same car that Murphy drove early last year at the Skope Classic in Christchurch for owner Lance Coupland. It was raced by Johnson and Bowe at Bathurst in 1990 and 1991.

Murphy’s Sierra drive comes a month before his return to Supercars racing in the Repco Bathurst 1000 in October.

He and countryman Richie Stanaway will share a Boost Mobile-backed Erebus Motorsport as one of at least three wildcard entries in the race.

The duo intended to compete in last year’s Repco Bathurst 1000, however COVID and travel restrictions forced them to abandon the plan and postpone the wildcard entry until this year’s race.

With over 20 years in the Australian motorsport industry, Noonan is the head of V8 Sleuth. He’s held a range of roles including working in television with Seven and Ten, print media and public relations. With a specialty in Australian motorsport history, he’s known around racing paddocks as ’the Sleuth’ and started his motorsport media career in 1997.