Merlin ambassador Greg Murphy is no stranger to the racetrack. A Supercars superstar, Greg has won the elite Bathurst 1000 an impressive four times.
It’s been eight years since Greg last raced on this iconic racetrack, but in an exciting turn of events – Greg entered the 2022 race as a wildcard entry, paired with fellow NZ racing star, Richie Stanaway.
Greg sat down with Merlin to chat through his experience returning to the Bathurst track. He talked through breaking his own lap PB 19 years later, and how the focus on safety is always at the forefront in Motorsport.
How did it feel to be back on the Bathurst 1000 racetrack?
Honestly? Completely surreal! Coming back and being able to drive around the track one more time… I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
A lot of amazing things happened over the course of the event, and everyone who put work in to make everything happen did an incredible job.
As a team, I believe Richie and I exceeded expectations from others, and even on a personal level, I couldn’t be prouder of how we performed.
Can you walk us through your experience over the event?
A lot of amazing things happened over the four days. It was very humbling to be back amongst it all and I really enjoyed being a part of every aspect of the iconic race.
Kicking off Bathurst 1000 with the official driver’s parade and autograph session was nostalgic and took me straight back to my last race at Bathurst in 2014. The number of supporters who turned up for us was really special.
On Thursday afternoon, the first day of the event, I felt very honoured to be part of the driving space again. I even managed to complete my fastest ever lap around Mount Panorama – one second quicker than my previous fastest time in 2003!
On Friday, my teammate qualified our car inside the top ten, which solidified our place in the Top 10 Shootout on Saturday. Unfortunately, the poor weather conditions at Bathurst on Saturday afternoon deemed the Top Ten Shootout unsafe to proceed. So we started the Great Race on Sunday from position 4 on the Grid, which was quite surreal, and a pretty crazy feat for a Wildcard!
After a hectic race, Richie and I ended up finishing just outside of the top ten which we were really proud of.
Safety is obviously hugely important in Motorsport. Being back in the driver’s seat, have there been any new or key changes from when you last raced a SuperCar?
Safety and risk management always play a critical role at any Motorsport event.
With so many moving parts and factors at play, the event organisers were constantly having to assess risks and make important decisions to ensure drivers and teams remained as safe as possible.
The most distinct safety hazard to consider during this year’s Bathurst 1000 was the wild weather. Thanks to La Niña, we got hit by some intense rain on Saturday, and the Top 10 Shootout was unfortunately cancelled. It was disappointing for the competitors, even more so for all the very committed fans that had waited through the awful conditions, but it certainly was the right call by officials.
For me coming back to the game, it was also interesting to see how the cars’ safety features have evolved. There was one feature in particular that really stood out to me. It was a new in-car warning system technology controlled by Race Officials that illuminated the dashboard with different colours depending on the safety issue or warning required.
This new technology is extremely beneficial and gives drivers an extra safety layer on top of the traditional exterior flags, lights and radio communication. It’s been very well received by all the teams and drivers.
Safety at home with Merlin
Safety and risk management isn’t just essential on the racetrack, but essential for our day-to-day home access.
Implementing smart safety behaviours around high-risk areas at home, such as the garage and driveaway, and investing in the right safety technology can help keep your family safe.
Garage safety offerings such as Merlin’s Safety Beams, myQ, and auto-reverse technology can help you manage risk in your house, and ensure Aussie families have the freedom to feel safe and secure at home.
Congratulations Greg on an incredible result at the Bathurst 1000 and taking the time to share your safety insights. Looking forward to seeing you out on the track again soon!
For more information about Merlin, or to browse our range of gate and garage door openers and accessories, visit our website or call 0800 653 667.