Bathurst Memories: Greg Murphy’s Lap of the Gods

Bathurst Memories: Greg Murphy’s Lap of the Gods
September 29, 2015 | 6:00 am | Author: Alan Suter

When you hear the name Greg Murphy you think of many things, two things that should springboard to mind are Bathurst and Lap of the Gods.

My Bathurst memory is Greg Murphy’s 2003 Bathurst 1000 shootout lap. Leading into the race, the team of Greg Murphy and Rick Kelly were one of the hot favourites to get into the top 10. Greg Murphy completed a lap time of a 2:07.9503 in qualifying, a record in itself, eclipsing Mark Skaife’s record of a 2:08.1913 set in 2002.

Having qualified in position one on Friday, Murphy would have the benefit of running last in the shootout the following day. John Bowe, who qualified third on Friday, was third last to run and set a 2:07.9556 matching Murphy’s time from qualifying.

Crossing the line then commentator Matthew White said “It’s a mammoth job ahead of him (Greg Murphy) because that time of John Bowe’s, will look as big as the mountain he’s about to try and tame”.

A very smooth and clean sector one saw Murphy 4/10th’s of a second up on John Bowe’s already impressive time. The excitement in commentator and ex-driver Neil Crompton’s voice was present, as he almost screamed into the microphone. “He’s up! Look at the split, its awesome! 4/10th’s of a second for Greg Murphy”.

At the top of Skyline you can hear the crowd over the scream of the mighty V8 Engine (and watching it now as I type this still makes the hair on my back stand up) down to forest elbow, you can hear a small amount of brake locking, subsequently sending Murphy a tad wide for the long run down Conrod Straight. Crossing the sector line, Murphy is still green almost 7/10th’s of second up on John Bowe’s 2:07.9.

Halfway down Conrod Straight, you can see the Channel 10 cameramen in the Ozemail Racing Pit Bunkers, watching John Bowe stand there shaking his head and laughing with a massive smile on his face and Matthew White saying “All you can do is laugh because this is quite simply an awesome lap”,

Once again out of the exit of the chase you can hear the Holden fans roar over the Sound of the K-Mart Commodore. Crossing the line, Murphy ended up almost 1.1 seconds quicker then John Bowe’s time, setting a blistering 2:06.859, another new record.

As Murphy heads back down pit lane you can hear his engineer say “you F###ing beauty” with Murphy undoing his belts and celebrating by pumping his fist. A rare show of sportsmanship is present as rivalries are forgotten to celebrate and amazing effort, every team spilling out into the pit lane as Murphy drives back down to his garage.

As Murphy hops out of his car he stands on the side of his car fist pumping in front of the ecstatic crowd, as they go nuts for Murphy. As he hops down from his car Greg Rust is waiting there to interview him, with Murphy saying to Greg Rust “I can’t believe that, I don’t think I breathed during the whole thing. I thought I stuffed it, I made a balls up out of the dipper, I actually hooked 1st instead of 3rd so I cost myself a couple of tenths, I can’t believe it”

Video: When Murphy clocked his ‘Lap of the Gods’