Line-up all class in High­lands 101

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

Kiwi mo­tor rac­ing icon Greg Mur­phy has landed the plum job of rac­ing a McLaren su­per­car in its Aus­tralian GT Cham­pi­onship de­but in New Zealand. ‘‘Murph’’ will be teamed with Aussie mo­tor­sport com­men­ta­tor and racer Neil Cromp­ton when the McLaren MP4 12C is rolled out at Cromwell’s new High­lands Park mo­tor­sport com­plex for the High­lands 101 start­ing on Fri­day. The car, owned by High­lands owner Tony Quinn, will be con­fig­ured to the lat­est MP4 12C GT3 con­fig­u­ra­tion with McLaren engi­neer Andy Scott fly­ing in from Bri­tain to pro­vide tech­ni­cal sup­port through­out the weekend. ’’Ob­vi­ously the McLaren is a beau­ti­ful piece of equip­ment and I watched Bairdo [fel­low Kiwi rac­ing star Craig Baird] set the High­lands lap record in it in March,’’ Mur­phy said. ‘‘Both Neil and I are ex­cited to drive the McLaren – with all the won­der­ful links of the McLaren name for New Zealand mo­tor rac­ing fans – in its Australasian GT de­but. There cer­tainly aren’t many other cars like it.’’ Mur­phy won’t have to long to ac­cli­ma­tise him­self to the car with he and Comp­ton’s first time be­hind wheel of the 3.8-litre twin­tur­bocharged V8 beast be­ing on early Fri­day. Mur­phy and Cromp­ton are also ex­pected to pi­lot the McLaren in the High­lands 101 fea­ture race, join­ing the 42 fastest cars from any field to con­test a unique race for 101 in­tensely com­pet­i­tive laps of the 4.1km cir­cuit on Sun­day. Orig­i­nally Baird – who has just won his fifth Porsche Car­rera Cup Aus­tralia crown and his 11th Porsche one-make-se­ries ti­tle – was en­tered to drive the McLaren with Cromp­ton. But he will now pair up with present Aus­tralian GT Cham­pi­onship leader Klark Quinn in a Porsche GT3R. ‘‘Craig’s links to Porsche are ob­vi­ously strong and it fits . . . for Craig to race with Klark in th­ese all-im­por­tant fi­nal two cham­pi­onship races at the open­ing High­lands meet­ing,’’ Tony Quinn, Klarks’ fa­ther, said. Also ap­pear­ing will be for­mer Fer­rari For­mula One driver Ivan Capelli, re­join­ing Bathurst team­mate Jim Mano­lios in the Tro­feo Mo­tor­sport Corvette Z06R. The weekend is huge lo­gis­ti­cally for the Tro­feo team, tyre sup­plier of the Aus­tralian GT Cham­pi­onship, as they are bring­ing al­most 700 tyres, equip­ment and 21 staff from their Mel­bourne base. Mo­tor­sport fans will get to see what is prob­a­bly the largest ar­ray of su­per­cars ever seen rac­ing in New Zealand, in­clud­ing As­ton Martin, Fer­rari, Lam­borgh­ini, Corvette, Audi, Mosler, Porsche, Ginetta and Dodge Viper at the park’s in­au­gu­ral meet. Sup­port races and classes are the new one-make Toy­ota TR86 se­ries and the one-and three-hour race fields for the South Is­land En­dur- ance Se­ries which will fea­ture more well-known names. Adding to the mix will be high speed pa­rade laps by the Benet­ton B191 Ford Cos­worth For­mula 1 car, bought lately for High­lands Park’s mu­seum.

Fa­mous Kiwi: High­lands McLaren MP4-12C GT to be driven by Greg Mur­phy and Neil Cromp­ton at the High­lands 101 this weekend.

Be­hind the wheel: Tro­feo Mo­tor­sport Corvette driver Ivan Capelli will be rac­ing in Cromwell.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.