Cooper Murray – Phillip Island Preview

Well after a few weeks off, I’m raring to get back behind the wheel of my GT3 Cup this weekend at the third round of the Shannons Nationals at Phillip Island, July 1 – 3.

Getting my first round win at Sandown was a really good confidence booster, especially after the second round of the series. It was an added bonus that it was also on my ‘home track’, so there’s a really positive vibe throughout the team.

I’m really enjoying the battles with Max (Vidau) and Simon (Fallon) for top 3. As a driver, you want to have good competition; you don’t want to be out there by yourself having no one to challenge you. The only way to learn is to have good completion to race against and you want a hard fought race –which makes it all that bitter sweet when you win!

I’m currently leading the Championship by 9 points and obviously I’m looking to maintain the lead – but in order to do that, my main focus is to gain championship points by making sure I finish every race, try and finish in the top 3 or 5 and make sure I have no DNF’s. I need to make sure that I work hard at keeping those points alive.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks since the last round. I’ve been doing lots of training with Josh from Webb Performance, doing lots of sessions on my indoor bike trainer as well as lots of running and hill climbs. I’ve also been practicing on my simulator and going over some data and footage of Phillip Island – so I’m feeling both mentally and physically prepared for this weekend.

We’ve also just announced the partnership with Bluechem Australia, which I’m super pleased about. The guys from Bluechem Australia are fantastic and I’m looking forward to having them on the car and showcase the brand this weekend and for the remainder of the year. The branding fits in so well, being automotive products but also German made products on the Porsche – it all ties in nicely. A huge thanks to Neil and the Bluechem Australia team for their support.

Looking ahead to Phillip Island, my first ever meeting there was in the Formula Ford where I came 2nd to Will Brown and bet Leanne Tander who went on to win the Championship. I also bagged pole position there last year in the Formula Ford – so my history at the track hasn’t been too bad.

This circuit is actually one of my favourites and I bet everyone you talk to in the field could say that as well! It’s an amazing track, it’s so fast and has everything from cambers to up hill and down hill – everything you want in a track.

The key to getting a good lap around this circuit is mainly corner speed, trying to get into the corner as fast as you can and hold that speed and also getting a good exit, because there’s long straights so you want to be on the power as early as you can and make up as much time down the straight as you can.

I need to improve on my starts a little bit. I’ve been watching some of the footage from the other guys in the team (Alex Davison) and (Dylan O’Keefe) and comparing their stats to mine. Race starts are crucial and lately I haven’t been getting the best of starts.

I hit the track for the first practice session Friday 1 July, at 11:10am.

Hope to see you there!

Alternatively, if you can’t make it – head to the Shannons Nationals’ website, www.thenationals.com.au or their Facebook page to live stream.

Coops.