GREG Murphy has revealed his regret over his race-ending tangle with Marcos Ambrose in the closing laps of the 2005 Bathurst 1000.
The pair crashed on the approach to the Cutting while battling over fourth place on a late-race restart, triggering a fiery confrontation that was the culmination of a rivalry that had simmered between them in the years prior.
Murphy addressed the incident in the latest episode of the V8 Sleuth Podcast powered by Timken off the back of a deluge of questions on the topic sent in by listeners for the National Motor Racing Museum Couch Racer Questions segment.
“I tell you right now, if I knew what was going to happen I would have actually not have been as pig-headed to try and hold my line through that corner, and bailed out of that one and let him have it,” Murphy told the V8 Sleuth Podcast.
“The thing is… we were out of it. We were fourth and fifth. We weren’t going to win, and I doubt we were going to get the podium.
“It was a bit of a struggle of a day, and from what I remember I was pretty comfortable. I don’t think Marcos had anything special as far as speed goes on me.
“I got baulked heavily by, I think, David Besnard going into Griffin’s Bend. He turned down on me when I was trying to pass him and I lost all my momentum; that allowed Marcos to come up alongside.
“It was just one of those pig-headed moments where he wasn’t going to give in and I didn’t give in.
Listen to the two-part episode in the players below!
“He had his nose ahead but there was no pass completed. I’ve always been quite open about the fact that I believe we both contributed to it and I always was happy to take 50 percent of the blame for it because it was a goddamned mess.
“We’ll agree to disagree, I’m sure, but it was just a shit sandwich that I wish never had happened.
“If I had my time again and I could bloody go and repeat it, knowing what has happened, you probably would bail out of it.”
The crash ended both drivers’ races – which, at the time, was going to be Ambrose’s last Bathurst 1000 before heading to America to embark on a career in NASCAR – and caught up many of the cars following behind them.
The vision of the shunt itself plus Murphy and Ambrose’s slanging match in the aftermath has been replayed countless times in the years since, and the incident is still a major talking point among fans today – as evidenced by the volume of questions V8 Sleuth received about it!
Both are factors in why Murphy would do things differently if he could go back in time.
“It’s not like it was a great moment of my life and career and not for him either, and it just added fuel to the fire that was already burning between us,” Murphy said.
“There was already a bit of a festering scab between the two of us, and that just made it a whole lot worse.
“I’ve got a huge amount of respect for the guy; I think his ability behind the wheel of a car was proven. He won two championships and went off to America and, as far as I’m concerned, did great things over there and achieved a lot.
“The other thing is there were a lot of other people caught up that didn’t deserve to be caught up in our shit – or my shit or his shit, whatever – that blocked the track and damage was done to other cars, all that kind of thing.
“I didn’t want that to happen and it was almost a little embarrassing.”
The talk about Bathurst 2005 is just a small part of a wide-ranging chat that covered topics as diverse as Murphy’s early days racing in Australia in Formula Brabham and Super Touring, his IndyCar and British Touring Car Championship test drives, his stint racing NASCAR in Australia, plus his first solo V8 Supercars victory in the 1996 New Zealand Mobil Sprints series.