Boost-Mobile backed drivers Greg Murphy and Richie Stanaway have their sights firmly set on this year’s Bathurst 1000 with their first outing in preparation for the wildcard confirmed.
It was announced last November that Murphy and Stanaway would have to wait another year to contest the Great Race after travel restrictions proved too great a hurdle for the team.
The re-opening of the Australian and New Zealand border now sees the Kiwi duo set to take the reigns of their #51 Commodore at Winton on June 7.
Four-time Bathurst winner Murphy is pleased to see last year’s plans resurrected and believes this first test will be the most important in terms of getting back up to speed.
“I don’t think I can put into words how important these test days will be for Richie and I, they’re so critical for us,” Murphy said.
“Parts of the puzzle have been underway for a while and now with COVID sort of out of the way, we can absolutely be set on some goals and plans which will make a big difference.
“A lack of testing was the biggest thing for me last year that really had me questioning whether we were going to be able to do the event and do it justice.
“For me, this initial test day is really just about finding my feet again and getting some of the basics back into my brain, going away and thinking about it to prepare myself for the next test.
“I’d love to be able to turn up and be really comfortable straight away and feel really positive moving forward but I’m also trying to be realistic.”
June’s date will be the first of three test days, with Bathurst prep again ramping up with a second and final outing on August 16 and September 27.
“Being two drivers who have been out of the car for a while, Murph and I are definitely going to utilise all three of our test days to make sure we’re as prepared as we can be,” Stanaway said.
“Going to Bathurst is tough at the best of times, even when racing full-time, so we’ll be focusing pretty hard on those test days to extract everything we can.
“For the first test day, it’s really going to be about getting comfortable in the car and getting to know the team.
“It’s always very important when you work with a new team to get to know everyone and figure out how everything works as every team does things slightly differently.
“Getting all of those teething problems out of the way means by the time we get to the second and the third day, we can hit the ground running with some more advanced work.
“Having the additional preparation time after last year’s delay has given me more time to train and I’ve also spent more time on my simulator to get the feel back.”
The brainchild of Boost Mobile Founder Peter Adderton, was originally floated on social media and picked up traction after overwhelming support from the fans.
“We were never going to give up, and were always going to make it happen for Murph, Richie, and the Supercars fans,” Adderton said.
“The story is not over for Richie and Murph to take on the mountain and it’s something you don’t want to miss.
“Last year we jumped over every hurdle thrown at us and although in the end border restrictions made it impossible for 2021, the whole team at Erebus, Boost and the drivers were committed to making it work in 2022.
“The benefit of this year will be that Murph and Richie will have three test days prior to the big race which will allow them to fine-tune their skills and the setup with the team.
“This idea came to fruition because of the fans so we encourage everyone to come on the journey with us and celebrate Murph and Richie back at the mountain.”
Erebus Motorsport is now at Wanneroo Raceway for this weekend’s Perth SuperNight, meanwhile there is just over five months until this year’s Bathurst 1000, October 6-9.