Former South Otago man Garry Orton believes his Kiwi Motorsport team has what it takes to help Ronan Murphy’s international career take flight.
Son of four-time Bathurst 100-winner Grey Murphy, Ronan (18) will make his overseas racing debut in the United States Formula 4 Championship, with Orton, who attended South Otago High School and previously lived in Clinton.
He runs the team with fellow New Zealander Teena Larsen and they have an impressive track record in the FIA-sanctioned F4 category.
In 2019 Kiwi Motorsport had three finishers in the championship’s top five, including winner Australian Joshua Carr.
Now based in Dallas, Texas, Orton was delighted with how up-and-coming Hawke’s Bay single-seater racer Murphy took to the wings and slicks F4 car after tests at both the Cresson circuit in Texas last April and Buttonwillow Raceway towards the end of 2019.
“It’s going to be interesting and we’re pretty confident Ronan can go well in America. He feels good in the car and that’s always a great starting point to build on. He’s keen to learn and it’ll be our job to help him bring out the best in himself,” Orton said.
Murphy immediately felt at home in the Kiwi Motorsport car.
“Obviously Garry and Teena’s team have a great handle on the set-up of this type of car, so I was starting from a good base, but I felt confident and able to push,” he said.
Murphy has completed five of the New Zealand F1600 championship’s six rounds and will head to the United States at the end of March.
“I am now working hard and continuing my preparation for the next chapter in my motorsport career over in the United States in the Formula 4 United States Championship,” he said, in a social media post.
Murphy’s six-round championship trail starts at the Michelin Raceway, Road Atlanta on April 9.
- Catherine Pattison