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Le Mans first for Murphy Prototype Racing

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This weekend (31 March/1 April) Murphy Prototypes will make history by becoming the first Irish owned team to compete in the European Le Mans endurance motor racing series when they race in the LMP2 class at Le Castellet, France, the first round of the five race series in 2012.

Murphy Prototypes Le Mans Team, founded by Dublin-based green energy entrepreneur, Greg Murphy, will race a Nissan LMP2 Oreca 03 with British drivers Warren Hughes, Jody Firth and Italian Luca Moro behind the wheel. Warren Hughes is one of the world’s most respected endurance racing drivers. He has competed in the Le Mans 24 Hour Race six times since  2001, winning the LMP2 class with a lap record in 2005 in an MG Lola.  Warren was a UK Formula Ford champion before going on to test for the BMW Williams F1 Team and for F1 Team Lotus.

Jody Firth was the SPEED UK endurance racing champion in 2010 and last year won the Speed Euroseries endurance racing championship. In 2011 he also won two of the five Le Mans European Series races. The British duo are joined by talented Italian,  Luca Moro who came fifth in the 2010 Le Mans Series (LMS), Class Formula Le Mans. He competed in the American Le Mans Series in 2011 and the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2012.

Murphy Prototypes will use their experience in Renewables, Aerospace and Automotive during this European Le Mans Series campaign. This combined with their resources in biofuels, hydro energy, energy efficiency, hybrid and alternative vehicle applications will uniquely position the team for marketing and technical partnerships using the platform of Endurance Racing.

The team will receive engineering support from Team RLR M-Sport who has been recruited based on their successful, programme in 2011 for the MG Lola Le Man team.

Commenting, Greg Murphy said:

“It’s great to be finally getting underway and the whole team is really keen to get off to a flying start at the Paul Richard circuit this weekend.”

“Of course it is great to be making history as the first Irish team to compete in the European Le Mans series but our number one priority is to ensure that we have a successful campaign and not just a historic one. I firmly believe we’ve got everything at Murphy Prototypes to make this a reality, from the drivers with their track record of winning to the proven engineering support from RLR Motorsport and, we believe that we have the best car in the Oreca. In addition, we have chosen Nissan as our engine partner and we look forward to working with a manufacturer of their calibre.”

“We’re keen to build on our performances in the tests and we are going into Sunday’s race feeling very confident that we can do very well in this year’s European Le Mans series.”

In addition, Warren Hughes said:

“It’s been a long winter and I’m looking forward to finally getting started. The test three weeks ago was the first chance I had to try out the car but it was only a shakedown test really, so I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into it on Sunday.”

“I’m hopeful that if we can get running at 100% and a good set up in the first practice, we stand a very good chance of doing well. I know that other teams will be in the same position as us and that will make for a very open race. There are a lot of unknowns going into Sunday. On paper the car is a very competitive package and it was very impressive to drive in the test and the team is going into the race with the intention of competing to win.”

“We have a strong line-up of drivers. I know Jody well and rate him highly. Luca I didn’t know so well before the season began,  but he had good results in the championship last year and performed well at our last visit to Paul Ricard. It’s a strong team, a strong car and we’re looking forward to the European Le Mans season getting underway.”

Jody Firth said:

“It is great to be racing again and we are all eager to get on track and show that we are real contenders for race wins and ultimately the championship.”

“At the official test we concentrated on settling the car down, adjusting to one another and blowing the cob webs away. We didn’t concentrate on lap times, so our true pace will be shown this weekend at Le Castellet. I am really looking forward to racing with my team mates, Warren Hughes and Luca Moro. Warren, I have known for a long time now and we have become very close friends. He has a lot of experience within sportscars, and there is no-one faster on their day than Warren. In Luca you also have an experienced driver from the time he has spent in a Formula Le Mans car where he showed on many occasions race winning speed.”

“The team are fabulous, Greg shows great enthusiasm and ambition for the sport and that is evident in the level of presentation within the team. He has also chosen wisely in selecting RLR Motorsport to run his car for him. I watched them closely last year whilst competing against them and it was obvious to me that they were as professional, skilled and organised as anyone else. With all this in mind I feel very confident that come Sunday we will all have very big grins on our faces.”

Murphy Prototypes PR