Murph & JR Complete Pre-Pukekohe Test Kiwi Holden V8 Supercar heroes Greg Murphy and Jason Richards have undertaken a final test ahead of next week's 'hometown' race, the Placemakers V8 Supercars at Pukekohe Park Raceway, Auckland, New ...
Murph & JR Complete Pre-Pukekohe Test
Kiwi Holden V8 Supercar heroes Greg Murphy and Jason Richards have undertaken a final test ahead of next week's 'hometown' race, the Placemakers V8 Supercars at Pukekohe Park Raceway, Auckland, New Zealand.
Both drivers completed just over 100 laps of the 3 km Winton Motor Raceway circuit in their MTA Holden VE Commodores yesterday.
A four-time winner at Pukekohe (2001-03, 05), Murphy said the opportunity to test prior to the last V8 Supercar visit to the track was invaluable.
"This was the first time we've tested both VE Commodores together, as only my car was ready for our first test last month, so it was an extremely vital day for the team," Murphy said.
"Jason and I were able to back-to-back each other's cars and that's given us some insight into what's going on and where we need to be with each of them if we're to be competitive.
"Pukekohe is an important event for Tasman Motorsport. Last year was the end of a sensational run of success for me personally and it would be a nice start to my career move to this team if we can bring home a result, especially as it is our last time racing there."
Tasman Motorsport team manager Graham Jenkins labelled the test 'productive'.
"We had an extensive list of items to run through the day, testing various programs including a new development engine, some thermal testing, brakes, even a little aerodynamics amongst other things," Jenkins said.
"It wasn't a trouble free day; we had some issues here and there and we even had an alternator catch fire in Jason's car during the morning warm-up, which set us back until lunch.
"But while there were no other teams present to gauge ourselves with, we were happy with the progress made, what we were able to resolve and also learn."
Murphy's car was fitted with the first of the team's newest development Holden Motorsport engines for the test, the second motor for Richards' car ready this week.
"It's only early days in our engine development program, but both Murph a nd Jason were pleased with the new motor - Royce McCort and Neill 'Part' Burns have done a terrific job," Jenkins said.
Richards said while he struggled to get through the full program due to the delayed start, he was encouraged and is looking forward to the annual trip across the Tasman.
"It was frustrating not getting a full day in, but when we actually got out onto the track we lapped consistently in the 1m 24s range, and a '24.1' was as quick as I've ever been around Winton at any test," said Richards.
"I've never had much luck at home while with four wins Murph has owned the place, so I'll be leaning on my team-mate for all his help and advice. I'd like to change my fortunes before we move to Hamilton for the street race next year."
Tasman Motorsport enduro driver Mark Noske also gained some valuable seat time completing a 27 lap stint in his first drive of a VE Commodore ahead of the traditional Sandown and Bathurst endurance races later this year.
The Placemakers V8 Supercar event takes place at Pukekohe Park Raceway on 20-22 April.