Kiwi touring car icon Greg Murphy has confirmed his entry for Rally New Zealand’s Battle of Jack’s Ridge later this year.
The four-time Bathurst winner is fresh off a return to the domestic racing scene with a tilt in the South Island Endurance Series in a Mercedes AMG GT3. This time however he will be swapping tarmac for dirt and slipping behind the wheel of a Holden Barina AP4.
Murphy is just one of several top-flight Kiwi motor racing legend to announce their confirmation for the event. 2016 Supercars Champion Shane Van Gisbergen and multiple speedway champion Michael Pickens will also be participating in the inaugural rally sprint.
Murphy is no stranger to rally, competing in the national championship for a two-year stint between 2017 and 2018.
And despite disguising his competitive nature under the blanket of social fun, Murphy will be out on full force once behind the wheel in time for his first run.
“I probably am full of bullshit really when I say that because I did a rally sprint in the Hawke’s Bay over the week to give the Barina a run and straight away I got in the car and it all starts to come together and you start to push harder and get a vibe for driving the car and get more and more excited about it,” said Murphy.
“I ended up having an amazing day and pushing myself harder and harder. I had a hell of a dice with Jack Hawkeswood until the last run of the day.
“I will turn up to Jacks Ridge and tell everyone I am there for fun but once it gets going it is hard to control your natural urge.”
Nonetheless, Murphy is excited to be back in a rally machine for the first time in over two years.
“Based on the fact I spent so much time on circuits, to go and do a different discipline like rallying was an incredible thrill and an amazing challenge and learning experience.
“To completely change the way you approach driving a car is an amazing buzz, and I just loved every minute of the rallying that I have done.
“Having a car sitting there, that I haven’t been able to sell and having this event coming along and how cool it is going to be it was kind of a no-brainer that I needed to be involved in a competitive sense as well as the TV side of it as well.
“I can’t wait to get out and have a go – the road is just amazing. I am in awe of what the Hawkeswood team have managed to do.
“I think our country is incredibly fortunate to have it and have a huge amount of fun and give the fans something to really enjoy.”
The Battle of Jacks Ridge will take place November 15 on former national champion Andrew Hawkeswood’s Whitford property. The event will be broadcast live on Sky Sport, with Murphy fronting as part of the coverage.