Ronan Murphy says he will take away plenty of learning experiences from his maiden international gig, despite not earning the results he had hoped to achieve.
Murphy ended his debut US Formula 4 season 16th overall, with a string of decent results in the final few rounds boosting his points tally.
However, his season is almost a complete contrast to his Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport teammates, three of which were able to lock out 2-3-4 in the standings.
But the 18-year-old insists his mindset shifted across the season with a broader focus on gaining experience and learning through mistakes to improve himself as a driver.
“It’s been a big year for me this year spending six months of my time in the United States so far,” Murphy told Velocity News.
“With everything going on in the world I felt incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to go and compete over there, thanks to a lot of awesome people back home here in New Zealand and the team at Kiwi Motorsport.
“The year was really up and down, but the highlight for sure was the podium at Laguna Seca in the Formula Pro Western championship round.
“There was also being able to stand up on the podium in the second round of the national championship at Virginia, as well as all the top-10 points finishes we scored over the year in some really gruelling races.”
One standout drive for Murphy was his debut race at West Virginia Raceway. Held in treacherous conditions, Murphy swiftly made up 13 spots in half-a-lap before the race was neutralised behind the safety car.
Unfortunately, the next race to be punctuated by heavy rain at Homestead-Miami speedway ended abruptly when a brake failure for the Kiwi led to a scary crash.
“Yeah, the biggest low of the season was the brake failure I had at Round 5 in Miami,” he said.
“It put us out of a top 10 finish and caused a decent amount of damage to the car.
“There were also a few driving errors, mechanical problems and sometimes just not quite being comfortable with the car set up, which all cost us some really strong and important finishes at times.
“But it was all part of the first-year learning process in this extremely competitive championship.”
Murphy is yet to firm up any commitments for 2021 with another stint in the US championship still under discussion with Kiwi Motorsport.
“I don’t have any solid plans going forward at this stage for racing in New Zealand or internationally.
“But I look forward to getting home to Hawkes Bay and seeing what we can come up with next for the future.”