Murphy Prototypes proud of performance at 15th ‘Petit Le Mans’

Murphy Prototypes is proud of its performance at the team’s first visit to Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, Georgia.

The young Irish team maintained front running positions in the LMP2 category throughout its strong race before the #18 Oreca-Nissan ended it’s running with electronics failure on lap 330 in the 9th hour.

Brendon Hartley: “I am very disappointed that we ended the race as we did. Everyone in the team did a very good job and we were fighting for a podium.

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

Photo by: Daniel James Smith

We had a few misfortunes during the race and when I got in to the car for my second stint I had only done one and a half laps, getting the tyres up to temperature with the car feeling really good, when it stopped with an electrical problem.

We have no idea exactly what the problem is and everyone worked for over an hour trying to get us back out on track.

It’s such a shame, it was the last race of the year, we have had good times and bad and I think that this could have been a really good one.

I’d like to thank Greg and everyone in the Murphy Prototypes team and Jody and Warren for a fantastic first year in sports car racing.”

Warren Hughes: “My first stint was ok until I got tapped in to a spin by Dario [Franchitti]. I did not want to let him through as we would have gone a lap down which would have made the strategy a bit difficult.

I gave him room, but he over shot a bit and got a penalty for that. Everything was good after that; it was a relatively straightforward stint with no safety cars or anything.

I joined the second stint under a very long safety car period and just on the restart I felt something odd in the last corner.

I wasn’t sure if I had just lost tyre temperature, but then as I turned in to turn one the front left tyre was completely deflated so I couldn’t keep it out of the gravel and barrier.

It took a bit of time to manoeuvre the car out but we got going again still under the safety car and had to make an additional stop under the regulations. They are all frustrating things to happen, but we got going again and I had very good pace in the dark.

In a lap or two I was going to take a lap back from the race leader just as I pitted, so the pace was really good and the car was decent, we just had one or two too many incidents that cost us a little bit.

The race was there for the taking so we are massively disappointed not to make it to the end when we got that far, but I’d love to come back. It has been a great week at Road Atlanta.”

Jody Firth: “We are thoroughly all disappointed. We lost power to the engine at the start of Brendon’s stint just going in to the night and as yet we still don’t understand what the problem is.

Up to that point though the race was really good and the team and drivers did an excellent job. We were in the hunt and when the car stopped we were fighting for a podium with plenty of time left, so anything could have happened.

It has been a different experience racing in America. The safety cars have thrown in something different - it keeps everything competitive and interesting for the fans, so I have thoroughly enjoyed it.

It is the last race of the season and I would like to thank everyone at Murphy Prototypes and Starworks particularly here in the US.

Most of all I would like to thank my team mates, Warren and Brendon, who have been great to work with and I have really enjoyed everything we have done together this year.

A final thank you goes to Greg because he has been brilliant. I think I’ve got a friend there off the track as well and I am sure that he’ll go a long way in the sport.”

Greg Murphy, Murphy Prototypes Founder: “We did our best and we’ve had a great week over here. The American fans seem to have really taken to us, so it’s just so hard to finish our first Petit Le Mans race like this.

Unfortunately that’s motor racing, we all know this, you have more bad days than you have good, but we’ll be back; we’ll keep fighting.

A huge thank you to everyone at the ALMS, to Oreca and Nissan, the whole Murphy Prototypes team who’ve worked so hard all year, to Peter and his Starworks crew of great lads and of course our trio of drivers, for a fantastic event and experience.”

Source: Murphy Prototypes

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Warren Hughes , James Smith , Greg Murphy , Brendon Hartley , Jody Firth
Teams Murphy Prototypes
Article type Race report
Tags alms, atlanta, elms, firth, hartley, hughes, lms, murphy, petit le mans