Murphy gives thumbs up

Motoring
Murphy gives thumbs up

Greg Murphy has given his thumbs up to the revamped Pukekohe Park Raceway for the ITM 400 Auckland V8 Supercars race.
The $6.6m project includes improving and replacing safety barriers, debris fencing and curbing, some resurfacing, major alterations to the pit area, new pit garages, control buildings and addition of three new corners on the back straight.
Murphy, the event’s ambassador, said he is impressed at the changes to his favourite circuit, after driving media around Pukekohe Park Raceway recently.
“For those like me that know it well, you will hardly recognise it. The changes are quite stunning,” Murphy said.
“For starters it is a much safer circuit which it needed to be, which is pretty fitting given it is the 50th anniversary of Pukekohe.”
Murphy, who confirmed he has been unable to secure backing for a wildcard ride for the New Zealand race, said he was initially reticent about the changes made to the circuit especially the controversial new corners on the back straight.
“But after seeing them and driving around it, they are going to add a significant new challenge to drivers and some new passing opportunities.
“At the same time, the rest of the track itself is unchanged in its nature and so it is still fast and flowing with all the bumps that has makes Pukekohe such a great circuit.”
The Holden driver, who won the V8 Supercars Championship round three years in succession at Pukekohe from 2001 to 2003, believes the fans will also be the big winners.
“With the new overbridge out to the new corners, the spectators are going to get close to what is going to be some serious action during the racing. The new corners of five, six and seven have now been sealed, with the new pit structures and control buildings in place.
Contractors are busy with finishing work including grassing, electrical and painting.
Along with the track changes, there are refurbished spectator facilities including new viewing grandstands and premium viewing areas.

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