New Zealand's racing star Greg Murphy is one of the most successful drivers in a history of the Australian Touring Car/Supercars championship although he never managed to win a championship title. He recorded more than 440 ATCC/Supercars starts between 1997 and 2014, winning 28 times. He won four times and took four more podiums in the greatest Australian race, the Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama.
Murphy was also successful in 24-hour races, winning the 2003 Bathurst 24 Hour and finishing second in the GT2 class at 1996 Le Mans 24 Hours. Late in a career, Murphy became two-time champion (2013, 2014) in New Zealand's V8 SuperTourer championship.
Today, Murphy is a TV host/race commentator and occasional contestant in New Zealand's rally championship.
Combining touring cars and single-seaters early in a career
Born on August 23, 1972, in Hastings on the North Island of New Zealand, Murphy started his motorsports career in karting competitions. In 1992, he debuted in touring car races, driving Ford Sierra RS500 for Mark Petch Motorsport in few rounds of Nissan Mobil Series.
In early days, he was combining touring car and single-seaters, scoring great success in 1994 when he won New Zealand Grand Prix at Manfield Circuit, driving a Reynard-Holden. In the same year, he joined Triple Eight Racing in the Australian Drivers' Championship, finishing second in the points behind Paul Stokell.
1994 - Bathurst 1000 debut with Toyota Carina
In October 1994, Murphy debuted at Bathurst 1000 race, driving a Toyota Carina together with Briton James Kaye. They finished 23rd overall and fifth in the Group B.
Murphy competed with Toyota Carina in the Australian Manufacturers' Championship with Orix Racing, finishing in the eighth place.
Two Super Touring seasons with Audi
For the 1995 season, Murphy joined Brad Jones Racing to drive the #8 Audi 80 Quattro in the Australian Super Touring Championship. He won one race, finishing fourth in the points.
Murphy stayed one more season in the same championship, driving the #4 Audi A4 Quattro. This time, he won two races to finish third in the championship order, behind his teammate/team owner Brad Jones and Paul Morris.
Bathurst victory and Le Mans podium in the same year
While driving Audi in the ASTC, Murphy joined Holden Racing Team for Bathurst 1000 and other endurance races. At 1995 Bathurst 1000, he was sharing Holden VR Commodore with Craig Lowndes, retiring after just 10 laps. Next year, Murphy and Lowndes returned to Mount Panorama in the #1 Holden VR Commodore, winning the race ahead of two Fords. Driving for Holden Racing Team, Murphy also won New Zealand's Mobil Sprints series, winning four of six races.
In 1996, Murphy also scored a podium at 24 Hours of Le Mans. He was driving Porsche 911 GT2 together with Bill Farmer and Robert Nearn. They finished 14th overall and second in the GT2 class. Earlier that year, he was driving the same car at Daytona 24 Hours, not finishing the race.
1997 – six wins in debut ATCC season
Following his great success in occasional races with Holden, Murphy was invited to participated full season in the Australian Touring Car Championship. He was driving the #15 Holden VS Commodore, alongside Peter Brock in the famous #05 car.
In his debut season, Murphy was the race winner six times, finishing fourth in the final standings, two places ahead of his teammate Brock. At Bathurst 1000, he and Craig Lowndes retired after 38 laps.
In 1998, Craig Lowndes and Mark Skaife were main drivers for Holden Racing Team, Murphy participated in endurance races only. At Bathurst 1000, he and Mark Noske retired after 86 laps in the #50 Holden.
Second Bathurst victory in 1999
For the 1999 Shell Championship Series season, Murphy joined Gibson Motorsport to drive the #12 Holden VT Commodore. He finished sixth in the championship, scoring one victory during a season. It was a victory at Bathurst 1000, together with Steven Richards in the #7 Holden.
Murphy spent one more season with Gibson Motorsport, not scoring wins in 2000. He and Steven Richards finished third at Bathurst 1000. In the final championship standings, Murphy was sixth again.
In December 2000, Murphy participated in the American Le Mans Series race at Adelaide Street Circuit, driving a Panoz LMP-1 Roadster-S with David Brabham and Jason Bright. They finished ninth overall and third in the LMP class.
Moving to K-Mart Racing Team in 2001
In 2001, Murphy moved to the K-Mart Racing Team to drive the #51 Holden VX Commodore. His teammate in the #15 car was Todd Kelly. With a victory at Pukekohe Park Raceway, Murphy finished fourth in the final points. He and Todd Kelly finished third at Bathurst 1000.
In 2002, Murphy improved his results, finishing as the championship runner-up behind Mark Skaife. At Bathurst, he and Todd Kelly were 13th.
Two Bathurst wins for Murphy and Rick Kelly
In 2003, Murphy was again second in the championship, losing a title to Marcos Ambrose. In October 2003, Murphy recorded the fastest lap in the Mount Panorama's history to take pole position during the Top Ten Shootout. It remained the lap record for more than a decade. A day later, Murphy scored his third victory in the greatest Australian race. He was sharing the #51 Holden VY Commodore with Rick Kelly.
Murphy and Rick Kelly repeated a victory in 2004, this time in the #15 Holden. It was a sixth consecutive win for Holden, a new record. In the championship, Murphy finished in the fourth place.
2003 - victory at Bathurst 24 Hour race
In 2003, while driving Holden for Gibson Motorsport in the V8 Supercars Championship, Murphy scored one more great success with Garry Rogers Motorsport's Holden in the second edition of the Bathurst 24 Hour race. He was sharing the #05 Holden Monaro 427C with Peter Brock, Jason Bright and Todd Kelly.
Two seasons with Paul Weel Racing
After four seasons with K-Mart Racing Team, Murphy joined Paul Weel Racing for the 2005 V8 Supercars Championship season. He was driving the #51 Holden, finishing 11th in the final standings. He won four times, including all three races at Pukekohe Park Raceway. At Bathurst, he and Paul Weel retired after 144 laps.
Next year, disappointing results followed, with just one podium in 32 races. Murphy finished 24th in the points. At Bathurst 1000, he and Cameron McConville retired after 104 laps.
Three seasons with Tasman Motorsport
From 2007 to 2009, Murphy's team was Tasman Motorsport. He continued to drive the #51 Holden, finishing 13th in the final standings without wins on his account. In 2008, not scoring wins again, he finished 16th in the points. His final year with the team was 2009 when he was 21st in the championship standings.
During three seasons with Tasman Motorsport, Murphy recorded relatively good results at Bathurst 1000. In 2007, he and Jason Richards finished fourth and then progressed to the second place in 2008. In 2009, Murphy and Mark Skaife finished in the fourth place.
Three more full seasons with Holden
In 2010, Greg Murphy was driving the #51 Holden for Paul Morris Motorsport. Murphy missed the opening round of the series at Yas Marina Circuit due to a date clash with his hosting duties for Top Gear Live in New Zealand. Later in the season, he scored one podium to finish 19th in the championship standings. At Bathurst 1000, he and Allan Simonsen finished sixth.
In 2011, Murphy moved to Kelly Racing, driving the #11 Holden. He was on a podium just once, at Bathurst 1000, finishing 13th in the final championship points. His co-driver at Mount Panorama was Allan Simonsen again.
Murphy spent one more season with Kelly Racing, skipping a part of the season due to a back injury. At Bathurst 1000, he and Owen Kelly finished 13th. It was his last full season in the Australian V8 Supercars Championship.
Two-time New Zealand's V8 SuperTourers Champion
In 2012, while driving for Kelly Racing in Australia, Murphy participated full season in the V8 SuperTourers New Zealand Championship. He was driving Holden VE Commodore for M3 Racing, scoring five wins to finish second in the championship.
In the following two seasons, Murphy took two consecutive championship titles in the V8 SuperTourers Championship, still driving Holden for M3 Racing. In 2013, he won six of 21 races. In 2014, he was the race winner eleven times.
Holden Racing Team's endurance specialist since 2013
Since leaving Kelly Racing at the end of 2012, Murphy returned few times to V8 Supercars Championship to participated in endurance races for Holden Racing Team. In 2013, he partnered James Courtney in the #22 Holden, finishing 5th at Sandown and recording DNFs at Bathurst and Gold Coast.
In 2014, he and James Courtney finished second at Sandown 500. At Bathurst 1000, they were 13th. His last V8SC event was Gold Coast 600 at Surfers Paradise in October 2014.
Occasional attempts in the Australian GT Championship
Since leaving V8 Supercars Championship, Murphy also occasionally participated in sports car races. In 2013, he was driving two different cars in the Australian GT Championship - Chevrolet Corvette C6 for Trofeo Motorsport and McLaren MP4-12C GT3 for Highland Park team.
He returned to the Australian GT Championship in 2016, driving an Aston Martin Vantage GT3 for Keltic Racing together with Tony Quinn.
Murphy started rallying career in 2015
In 2015, Greg Murphy participated for the first time in rally event, driving a Ford Escot at Lone Star Rally of Canterbury. A number on his car was #51, which he was using for most of his V8SC career.
In 2016, Murphy expanded his rally activites to few events of New Zealand's rally championship, driving a Vauxhall Chevette. His navigator was Mark Leonard. In 2017, they are competing in the #51 Holden Barina.