Motorsport: Silver lining for Greg Murphy's first Bathurst absence in 26 years

For the first time in 26 years, the Bathurst 1000 week will be missing one of its favourite Kiwi sons.

COVID-19's border restrictions mean former King of the Mountain, Greg Murphy will remain in New Zealand during the great race. 

Following a successful Supercars career that yielded four Bathurst race wins, Murphy has since become a popular member of the broadcast team. 

But he hasn't been seen during the 2020 season, choosing to stay at home in New Zealand rather than travel with the grid around Australia.

Despite missing his first Bathurst since 1994, there is a silver lining with Murphy turning out in front of fans at home, behind the wheel of a Mercedes GT3.

"There's a lot of things you've got to be very careful with, when driving a Supercar that you don't have to in one of these - so you just get in there and put your foot down," Murphy tells Newshub. 

A handy logic after getting a late call up to co-drive in the second round of the South Island endurance series on Sunday.

Before taking over for the second half of the three-hour race, Murphy had pretty limited time in the seat.

"I did a couple of laps this morning," laughs the former New Zealand Grand Prix winner.

But his lack of preparation didn't slow Murphy down as he powered home to a podium finish. 

And although it may not have been the type of spectacle on show as winning four Bathurst crowns or his famous 'Lap of the Gods', Murphy sees plenty of positives. 

"I think we do need to really focus on us a bit more in some respects and not be so concerned about what's going on overseas.

"You just take a look around today at how many cars are here today.

"We've got people sitting on the banks and that's just awesome."

Greg Murphy sets the fastest time in qualifying.
Round 10 - Bob Jane T Marts 1000, Mount Panorama Bathurst,
Motorsport - V8 Supercar Championship,
Bathurts, NSW.
8th October 2004.
� Sport the library/ Mark Horsburgh / PHOTOSPORT
Photo credit: Getty

No doubt those fans will turn their attention to Australasia's biggest motor race in a fortnight.

And with Kiwi hero Scott McLaughlin already wrapping up the championship, there's nothing to lose for the defending race winner at Bathurst.

"I reckon It's gonna be a stellar race for that one reason - that no one is going to hold back in any way shape or form."

Join Newshub for live updates of the Bathurst 1000 on Sunday October 18