Murphy Prototypes heads to America for Petit Le Mans 2012

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Murphy Prototypes LMP2 team will be heading to Road Atlanta to take part in the 15th annual Petit Le Mans 10 hour at the famous Road Atlanta circuit next week. The spectacular event will be the season finale for this year’s European Le Mans Series.

#48 Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03 Nissan: Warren Hughes, Jody Firth, Brendon Hartley
#48 Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03 Nissan: Warren Hughes, Jody Firth, Brendon Hartley

Photo by: Daniel James Smith

Greg Murphy, team owner, businessman and entrepreneur, is hoping that the presence of an Irish team will set pulses racing among a number of Irish Americans. “As an Irish team, America has massive significance for us,” says Greg. “Some of the most enthusiastic supporters of the Irish in sport today are based in the States. There’s a strong bond between the two nations, and a surprising number of Americans tick the Irish ethnicity box. From a small island like Ireland, it’s astonishing how many.”

Murphy Prototypes has enjoyed an extremely positive initial season in sports car racing. The team achieved a third place podium at the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Spa-Francorchamps; made an impressive showing at the 24 Heures Du Mans – leading its LMP2 class for most of the mid-stint until mechanical retirement in the 15th hour; a further third position in the 6 Hours of Donington (ELMS) and 9th in class at the Silverstone WEC round in August.

The trio of drivers Warren Hughes, Jody Firth and Brendon Hartley has been a constant in the Murphy Prototypes Oreca since Spa in April, and has consistently looked to be a class-leader.

Although none of the Murphy drivers has raced at Road Atlanta previously, Warren Hughes has experience in the States. “From what I know this is going to be a tough race,” suggests Warren, 2012 British GT Championship GT4 class winner. “The circuit is very "old school", and it’s fast, bumpy and dangerous. Sounds fantastic! There is going to be a bigger challenge beyond this because we will have several new faces within the team, so it may take a little while for everyone to find their feet.”

Jody Firth is also conscious of the likely impact of being part of an Irish team in America. “The Irish have a large presence in America, and I am hoping we will gain a lot of support. It feels like an age since Silverstone, our last race, where we didn’t perform to our usual standard and we are all keen to prove once again that we can compete with the best. We have an outside chance of the title but it is a long shot, but this is endurance racing and anything can happen - especially because this is a much longer race. 10 hours or 1000 miles means you cannot count out anyone until the chequered flag falls.”

Brendon Hartley, with an F1 young driver test recently under his belt, has turned his attention back to his role with “Murphy’s Men”. “I’m just very happy to be racing at Petit Le Mans with Murphy Prototypes,” he insists. “I’ve never even been to America before, but I understand that the style of racing is slightly different from Europe. I’m excited to embrace all challenges that come our way. The team and I have both had relatively short careers in prototype endurance racing, but we’ve already had some great results. We all feel that we have the raw materials to finally take a win, and Warren, Jody and I will do our best to elevate the Murphy name in international motorsport.”

“There’s nowhere else in the world where being Irish can mean so much – aside from Ireland itself, of course,” concludes Greg Murphy. “We’re certainly looking forward to seeing our American friends and fans, and experiencing an event as special as Petit Le Mans. It’s the perfect way to finish off our first season.”

Source: Murphy Prototypes

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About this article
Series ALMS
Article type Breaking news
Tags firth, hartley, hughes, le mans, murphy, oreca nissan, petit le mans, road atlanta, wec

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