Murphy Dominant at Pukekohe

Greg Murphy once again showed he is 'the man' at Pukekohe by winning all three V8 Supercar races to take his fourth round victory at the circuit in five years

Murphy Dominant at Pukekohe

Murphy was dominant in all three races to take the overall win ahead of Russell Ingall who finished second in all three races. The winners of the last five series titles between them, Marcos Ambrose and Mark Skaife, had good results in all three races to finish equal third overall. These results allowed Ambrose to keep the points lead, 42 points ahead of teammate Ingall, with Paul Weel a surprise third 87 points behind Ambrose just ahead of Murphy and Craig Lowndes.

Race one saw front row starters Lowndes and Ambrose make contact through the first series of turns, Lowndes spinning and falling to the back. Greg Murphy took advantage of this to move up to second. Later contact between Ambrose and Steven Richards at the hairpin put Ambrose into a spin and Richards into the pits with damage.

This meant Murphy was the leader when all of the stops were over, taking the win ahead of Ingall, Mark Skaife, Steve Ellery with Ambrose recovering to fifth place. Lowndes finished fourteenth while Steven Richards ended up 28th having earlier battled for the lead.

At the start of race two Ingall made a great start to lead Murphy into turn one, but lap five saw Murphy dive to the inside at the hairpin and take back the lead. Skaife temporarily passed Ingall a few laps later but as he moved past he locked his brakes and spun, costing him time.

The race was under safety car conditions soon afterwards on lap 20 when contact between Brad Jones and his nephew Andrew Jones resulted in Brad Jones spinning broadside across the grass near pit entry and hitting the tyre barrier, the car rolling. Chaos erupted under the safety car conditions when Todd Kelly, still at speed, ran up onto a group of cars who had slowed. Kelly braked but still slammed into the back of an already limping Paul Morris. Meanwhile Jones was unscathed and was able to take part in race three.

The race got back to green on lap 25, Murphy leading Ambrose who had snuck ahead of Ingall during the pit stop shuffle before the safety car. Ambrose initially closed in on Murphy before fading as the laps wore on, his teammate Ingall passing him and in the closing laps Ingall closed on Murphy. However, he wasn't close enough and Murphy made it two from two ahead of Ingall, Ambrose, Skaife and Lowndes who continued his charge back up the order.

Murphy won the start in race three ahead of Ingall, while just behind them Lowndes and Ambrose went side by side through turn one, this time Ambrose losing out, falling to sixth. A bogged David Besnard eventually brought out the safety car, although officials were slow to make the decision despite Besnard's car having two flat tyres and being stuck in the sand. Between Besnard's incident and the safety car being deployed, there was contact between Jamie Whincup and Jason Bargwanna which ended when Bargwanna's car turned left all by itself down the back straight.

The race restarted on lap 23 but was red flagged less than ten laps later when light rain caused chaos. Coming onto the main straight, Jamie Whincup got onto the grass. As he rejoined the track Craig Baird moved across to avoid Whincup but in doing so put Paul Dumbrell into the inside armco, Baird and Dumbrell's cars destroyed as they were sent spinning. Everyone else somehow escaped, except for Cameron McConville who suffered damage to the front of his car.

The race restarted behind the safety car, the track now wet while the ambient light was quickly fading. The big losers were Triple Eight Racing, whose cars were running fourth for Lowndes and seventh for Ellery before the red flag. When the cars moved off from the grid, Lowndes and Ellery both remained stationary. Ellery's car eventually fired up but Lowndes's day was over, the car refusing to start.

In the fading light Murphy did as he had done earlier, leading safely to make it three wins from three races, Ingall taking his third second placing as well, Steven Richards third ahead of first race combatant Marcos Ambrose with Mark Skaife in fifth.

Results of The PlaceMakers V8 International, Pukekohe Park Raceway:

Race One Pos Driver Car 1. Greg Murphy Holden Commodore VZ 2. Russell Ingall Ford Falcon BA 3. Mark Skaife Holden Commodore VZ 4. Steve Ellery Ford Falcon BA 5. Marcos Ambrose Ford Falcon BA 6. Paul Radisich Holden Commodore VZ 7. Jason Bright Ford Falcon BA 8. Todd Kelly Holden Commodore VZ 9. Paul Morris Holden Commodore VZ 10. Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VZ 11. Paul Weel Holden Commodore VZ 12. John Bowe Ford Falcon BA 13. Steven Johnson Ford Falcon BA 14. Craig Lowndes Ford Falcon BA 15. Max Wilson Holden Commodore VZ 16. Rick Kelly Holden Commodore VZ 17. Garth Tander Holden Commodore VZ 18. Jason Richards Holden Commodore VZ 19. Greg Ritter Ford Falcon BA 20. Glenn Seton Ford Falcon BA 21. Cameron McConville Holden Commodore VZ 22. Brad Jones Ford Falcon BA 23. Anthony Tratt Holden Commodore VY 24. Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon BA 25. Matthew White Ford Falcon BA 26. Paul Dumbrell Holden Commodore VY 27. Andrew Jones Holden Commodore VZ 28. Steven Richards Holden Commodore VY 29. David Besnard Ford Falcon BA 30. Simon Wills Holden Commodore VZ DNF Craig Baird Ford Falcon BA DNF Jason Bargwanna Ford Falcon BA Race Two Pos Driver Car 1. Greg Murphy Holden Commodore VZ 2. Russell Ingall Ford Falcon BA 3. Marcos Ambrose Ford Falcon BA 4. Mark Skaife Holden Commodore VZ 5. Craig Lowndes Ford Falcon BA 6. Paul Radisich Holden Commodore VZ 7. Steve Ellery Ford Falcon BA 8. Steven Richards Holden Commodore VY 9. Paul Weel Holden Commodore VZ 10. John Bowe Ford Falcon BA 11. Jason Bright Ford Falcon BA 12. Craig Baird Ford Falcon BA 13. Glenn Seton Ford Falcon BA 14. Jason Bargwanna Ford Falcon BA 15. Max Wilson Holden Commodore VZ 16. Paul Dumbrell Holden Commodore VY 17. Simon Wills Holden Commodore VZ 18. Cameron McConville Holden Commodore VZ 19. Paul Morris Holden Commodore VZ 20. Garth Tander Holden Commodore VZ 21. Andrew Jones Holden Commodore VZ 22. Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon BA 23. Anthony Tratt Holden Commodore VY 24. Greg Ritter Ford Falcon BA 25. Matthew White Ford Falcon BA 26. Steven Johnson Ford Falcon BA 27. David Besnard Ford Falcon BA 28. Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VZ 29. Jason Richards Holden Commodore VZ DNF Todd Kelly Holden Commodore VZ DNF Brad Jones Ford Falcon BA DNF Rick Kelly Holden Commodore VZ Race Three Pos Driver Car 1. Greg Murphy Holden Commodore VZ 2. Russell Ingall Ford Falcon BA 3. Steven Richards Holden Commodore VY 4. Marcos Ambrose Ford Falcon BA 5. Mark Skaife Holden Commodore VZ 6. Paul Radisich Holden Commodore VZ  7. Jason Bright Ford Falcon BA 8. John Bowe Ford Falcon BA 9. Garth Tander Holden Commodore VZ 10. Paul Weel Holden Commodore VZ 11. Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VZ 12. Glenn Seton Ford Falcon BA 13. Todd Kelly Holden Commodore VZ 14. Jason Richards Holden Commodore VZ 15. Rick Kelly Holden Commodore VZ 16. Paul Morris Holden Commodore VZ 17. Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon BA 18. Anthony Tratt Holden Commodore VY 19. Andrew Jones Holden Commodore VZ 20. Brad Jones Ford Falcon BA 21. Greg Ritter Ford Falcon BA 22. Steve Ellery Ford Falcon BA DNF Matthew White Ford Falcon BA DNF Craig Lowndes Ford Falcon BA DNF Craig Baird Ford Falcon BA DNF Paul Dumbrell Holden Commodore VY DNF Cameron McConville Holden Commodore VZ DNF Max Wilson Holden Commodore VZ DNF Simon Wills Holden Commodore VZ DNF Jason Bargwanna Ford Falcon BA DNF David Besnard Ford Falcon BA DNF Steven Johnson Ford Falcon BA 

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