Murphy Prototypes will head into this weekend’s crucial European Le Mans Series race at Paul Ricard with confidence, having achieved plenty of success at the French circuit in the past.
Team principal Greg Murphy believes that his team “has the car, the data, the set up and the drivers to deliver a top result”, and to bridge the 34 point gap that exists between his team and championship leaders Jota Sport with two rounds to go.
“History shows that Paul Ricard is a track that suits us and we see no reason why we cannot continue the success we’ve achieved there in the past,” he said. “We will keep pushing for the title as hard as we can and for as long as we can, so we’re really looking forward to next weekend.”
Murphy Prototypes took its first ever ELMS victory at the 3.64 mile Provencal circuit in 2013 with its Oreca 03 Nissan; following that up with a podium result last year. Current ELMS driver Nathanael Berthon – who partners Mark Patterson and Michael Lyons this weekend – is also the quickest person to have lapped the circuit’s endurance layout with a 1:47.837s record during 2014 qualifying.
The Frenchman, who is skipping the GP2 Series rounds at Monza to be with his ELMS team-mates, is hopeful that his and his team’s form at Paul Ricard can continue for a third successive year.
“Strangely, Paul Ricard was never my best track,” said Berthon. “But that’s until the last two years when I have driven the LMP2 car with Murphy Prototypes. Since then, at every test or race there, I have set the fastest lap time.”
“This weekend the aim is clearly to continue this strong performance, but with the newer LMP2 cars out there it’s going to be an interesting challenge. From previous performances, I’m convinced we can be a very strong team and fight for the win this weekend. If we do a good job the result will come for sure.”
An electrical failure put paid to a high finish at the season-opening 4 Hours of Silverstone, and has ultimately pegged the team back in the LMP2 points’ race. However, the Irish squad bounced back with a strong second place result at Imola in May before finishing a disappointing sixth at the recent 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring following a a late collision with a GT car.
The team’s quest for a maiden ELMS championship crown will continue this weekend, starting with Free Practice at 10:30 (CEST) on Saturday, September 5.
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