Greg Murphy says his time spent in a Dick Johnson Racing Cosworth RS500 brings back positive memories of his early racing career as he prepares for this weekend’s Skope Classic.
Murphy is one of 30 competitors confirmed to race in the Archibalds Historic Touring Car category.
The car Murphy will drive was the last Sierra built by the Dick Johnson Racing team in 1990.
It ran as the No.17 for Johnson in the following two Bathurst 1000s and the full 1992 Australian Touring Car Championship.
“It’s a bit of a weapon,” Murphy said. “It brings back lots of good memories.
“I drove a Ford Sierra back in 1992 in the Nissan Mobil Series and raced against this exact car driven then by Paul Radisich. He went on to win that series, the last with the Group A Touring car specs.
“Those that drove them fast, back in the day were pretty talented pilots, particularly around Wellington and Bathurst.
“They are a testament to that era, to the drivers and engineers. It left a lasting impression which comes back.”
Murphy will be racing against his son Ronan over the weekend.
Ronan will be driving Murray Sinclair’s 1996 Nissan Primera Super Tourer, which ran in the Spanish Touring Car Championship and the Central European Championship.
“This will be my first year at the Skope Classic, but I’m really looking forward to having a go down there in the P10 Primera, which will be quite different again to anything I have ever driven,” Ronan said.
“I’ve heard a lot about those old Super touring cars, and how much fun they are to drive so I think it should be a really good weekend.
“It will also be really cool racing against dad, although I think he’s going to be pretty tough to catch, let alone beat him in the DJR Cosworth Sierra.”
The RS500 Murphy will drive only had one season in the Australian Touring Car Championship. It became ineligible to race in the series from 1993 following a revision to the technical regulations banning all-wheel-drive and turbocharged technology.
The catalyst for the change in rules was the dominance of the Nissan Skyline GT-Rs.
Aiming to replicate the rivalry between the GT-R and the Sierra’s this weekend will be Stu Rogers who will be racing his Group A Skyline bn-r32.
Another big name on the grid is Paul Radisich. He will be racing in his 1994 World Touring Car Cup-winning Ford Mondeo Supertourer.
Nearly half of the field will be made up of BMWs, including a DTM Zakspeed and a healthy crop of Supertourers.
The 2021 Skope Classic will be held at Mike Pero Motorsport Park in Christchurch over February 5-7.
The Historic Touring car field will have a pair of races on Saturday and Sunday, with the first scheduled to begin at 11.50 am.
Images: Mark Hellyer