Top driv­ers com­pete on track

Central Leader - - SPORT -

Race driver Si­mon Evans has al­ready proved he can beat BNT V8 Su­perTour­ers cham­pion Greg Mur­phy and is aim­ing to do it again in the TR Group 250 at Pukekohe this weekend.

The Lyn­field res­i­dent was ahead of fel­low Holden driver Mur­phy for a long time dur­ing round two of the com­pe­ti­tion at Man­feild in Palmer­ston North last month till a mi­nor elec­tri­cal prob­lem slowed his car slightly.

Mur­phy praised Evans warmly and said he prob­a­bly would not have been able to pass him if the prob­lem had not cropped up.

‘‘I’ve evolved mas­sively as a driver over the past sea­son in Su­perTour­ers and we’ve been get­ting the car’s setup in that sweet spot,’’ Evans, 23, says.

‘‘Pukekohe is Murph’s Turf and it’s go­ing to be harder than Man­feild but I’m re­ally ex­cited by it.’’

Mur­phy’s V8 Su­per­car vic­to­ries at Pukekohe in the early 2000s earned the track the nick­name Turf’’.

‘‘I think Pukekohe is spe­cial to ev­ery­body,’’ Evans says. ‘‘ The sen­sa­tion of go­ing over that hill at 180kmh or more is a pretty cool feel­ing. You re­ally know you’re alive there when you’ve got a brand-new set of tyres in qual­i­fy­ing, it re­ally gets the heart go­ing.’’

Mur­phy, now liv­ing back in Hawke’s Bay, en­joys fast tracks like Pukekohe, as his four vic­to­ries in the Bathurst

‘‘Murph’s 1000km clas­sic at­test. And he is in hot form, hav­ing won all six races so far this sea­son in the BNT V8 Su­perTour­ers, fea­ture class in the Hankook Su­per Se­ries.

Apart from Evans, his strong­est com­pe­ti­tion is likely to come from Auck­lan­der An­dre Heim­gart­ner, in a Holden, and Hamil­ton Ford driver Ant Ped­er­sen.

Qual­i­fy­ing is on Satur­day and all three races on Sun­day, with 15 of the 550hp V8s en­tered.

Photo: ANDREW BRIGHT

Top talent: Si­mon Evans and Greg Mur­phy on the podium at the last round at Man­feild.

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