Photo: Erebus

Erebus forced to postpone Greg Murphy, Richie Stanaway return

Erebus Motorsport has confirmed that Greg Murphy and Richie Stanaway will not contest the 2021 running of the Bathurst 1000 as planned.

The pair had been due to come out of retirement for the race at the wheel of a Boost Mobile-backed Holden Commodore but have been unable to secure a place on the Managed Isolation and Quarantine programme that would enable them to then return to New Zealand following the race.

With no guarantee as to when the pair would be able to return home, the decision has now been taken to delay the planned entry, with the team – and Boost Mobile boss Peter Adderton – hopeful of instead fielding a car led by Murphy in the race next season.

“I can’t explain how frustrating it has been not being able to put our plan into action,” Murphy said. “I know it’s not the most important thing in the world and COVID has impacted so many people in far more serious ways, but Richie and I were really looking forward to doing this and the effort that has gone into the prep of the car and behind the scenes has been enormous.

“We have played by the same rules as every other person trying to get a spot in MIQ and most have better reasons than we do for getting a spot and that is the way it is. It’s a lottery and our numbers haven’t come up.

“Boost Mobile Racing has been remarkable throughout. Peter’s vision and the investment in this idea, the car and everything that goes into entering a car in Bathurst is significant, and I hope that we can repay the faith and the support of racing fans by looking ahead to 2022.”

Adderton himself said the fact that the two drivers were unable to secure an MIQ place made the entry untenable.

“I want to thank everyone who has been involved behind the scenes for several months now in our attempt to be able to not just bring Greg and Richie over to Australia, but ensure they can then safely return home,” he said. “We are a people-driven company and we ultimately could not ask Greg and Richie to come over here in good conscience knowing we had no clear timeline for their return to New Zealand.

“We did everything within our means to make this happen and I am so bitterly disappointed that it is not to be. I also want to thank the many fans who have reached out both publicly and privately not just to express their support but also to see how they could help. It shows just how special this would have been, which is why we will do everything possible to make this happen in 2022 instead.”