ASTC: Bathurst Preview

Holden support works Vectra in "The Great Race" for Super Touring MONDAY, AUGUST 24: Bathurst 1000 winners Russell Ingall and Greg Murphy will team up in this year's AMP-sponsored Super Touring event at Mount Panorama on October 4 in a...

Holden support works Vectra in "The Great Race" for Super Touring

MONDAY, AUGUST 24: Bathurst 1000 winners Russell Ingall and Greg Murphy will team up in this year's AMP-sponsored Super Touring event at Mount Panorama on October 4 in a works Vectra supported by Holden.

The front-drive Vectra will be prepared for "The Great Race" by English-based works Vauxhall team 888 Racing, who campaign cars in the RAC Trader British Touring Car Championship for Scot John Cleland and ex-Formula One driver Derek Warwick. Both drivers have won BTCC races this year in the Vectras.

Ingall and Murphy, who have previously won the Bathurst 1000 race in Holdens, have past experience in the Super Touring category. In 1996 Ingall raced an ex-BTCC front-drive Vauxhall Cavalier in the BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship, and Murphy drove an ORIX Audi A4 quattro in the series in 1995-96. Murphy also raced a front-drive ORIX Toyota Carina in the Bathurst 1000 in 1994 with Briton James Kaye.

Ingall, 34, won the British Formula Ford Championship title in 1993 while based overseas, and he said he viewed participation in the Bathurst 1000 as an opportunity to prove himself in international competition against the BTCC drivers who will race at Mount Panorama this year.

"Holden have offered me an excellent drive in a competitive car and I'm looking forward to it," said Ingall.

"When I was in Britain I raced against guys like Alain Menu and Jason Plato (Williams-Renault BTCC drivers) when we were coming through. They're now at the top of the tree in what they do, so I'm keen to have a go at them. If we do well maybe it will open some doors for me."

"It's fortunate I've done some races in front-wheel-drive cars in the Australian (Super Touring) championship because I picked up some knowledge and I know what to expect. That's the only time I've raced a car with a sequential gearbox."

New Zealander Murphy, who celebrated his 26th birthday yesterday, believes 888 Racing will be well-prepared for the Bathurst 1000, utilising experience gained from contesting the event in 1997 with Warwick and Australia's nine-times race winner Peter Brock in one car, and Cleland and Kaye in another.

"The team have already done an endurance test in the UK so they're serious about winning Bathurst, which is great," said Murphy. "Some of the overseas teams were a bit 'off the boil' last year with things like pitstops and refuelling, but the 888 Racing guys will have it together this time."

"Russell (Ingall) is one of the best drivers around and I think we can have a good crack at it. The Vectra will be new for both of us, so practice will be important to get familiar with the car."

"These front-wheel-drive cars are tricky - they feel light and you have to get the balance spot-on. You have to be able to motor through the corners and have the rear of the car follow the front."

Holden Motorsport Manager John Stevenson announced the Ingall-Murphy team today. He said the entry acknowledged Holden's investment in producing Vectras in Australia from this month in Adelaide.

"Now that the Vectra road car is being built locally we are most interested in a winning performance at Bathurst to help kick sales along," said Stevenson.

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Series General
Drivers Greg Murphy , Russell Ingall , John Stevenson , John Cleland , Peter Brock , James Kaye , Derek Warwick , Alain Menu
Teams Williams