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Triple Eight talent adjusts plan of attack

WHILE Round 1 at Bathurst couldn’t have gone much better for Triple Eight’s Repco Supercars Championship program, it was a very different vibe for wildcard signing Cooper Murray.

The 22-year-old, who will partner Craig Lowndes in the Great Race later this year, endured a weekend from hell in Super2 with two DNFs rendering him pointless.

The first was self-inflicted, Murray crashing out at Sulman Park while running second on the Saturday. That error was compounded 24 hours later when he was taken out by Zach Bates while holding third.

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So, already, he is 300 points behind the driver to beat, Eggleston Motorsport teammate Kai Allen.

Last year Allen won the title with 1437 points across the six rounds; just 1500 points remain up for grabs this season.

Having already stated his goal of graduating to the main game in 2025, Murray has accordingly changed his tune as to how to go about Super2 with a view to achieving that next step.

“Now I am going to move forward to the rest of the season and sort of look to do what Woody (Ryan Wood) did last year,” Murray told V8 Sleuth.

Essentially, that means placing a premium on individual results over points accumulation.

Murray during Race 2 of the Bathurst Super2 season-opener. Pic: Nathan Wong

DNFs took Wood out of genuine title contention, but he was able to make his mark via four pole positions and five race wins. That was plenty enough for Walkinshaw Andretti United to promote him into a top-tier seat for 2024.

“Obviously winning the championship is what you aim for, but I’m just going to go out there and prove for the rest of the season that I’m the complete package and I’m ready to step up,” Murray elaborated.

Before Round 2 at Perth, Murray will give his #88 ZB Commodore a shakedown to ensure it’s back to 100 percent.

Even sooner, he’ll follow in the footsteps of wildcard predecessors Declan Fraser and Zane Goddard by joining Triple Eight at non-Super2 rounds, such as this month’s Albert Park round.

“The rounds I’m not competing in Super2, I’ll be there with Triple Eight just in the garage and debriefs learning as much as possible and taking in everything I can,” he said.

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