Hawkes Bay teenager Ronan Murphy has kick-started his motorsport career after winning the 2018 SpeedSport “Star of Tomorrow” Scholarship, earning him a fully funded season the NZ Formula First Championship and a Formula 4 test in the USA.
The 16-year-old schoolboy, along with four other finalists were put through their paces on Manfeild’s backtrack on Sunday after being selected from a wider group on Saturday’s evaluation day.
Trying conditions over the weekend gave the judges the perfect opportunity to see the drivers’ ability in wet, dry and greasy conditions. The technical layout of the back-track allowed all aspects of the drivers’ ability to be tested, with fast flowing corners, double apex’s and tight hairpins.
Although the times were incredibly close, Murphy was fastest and ultra consistent lap-to-lap. Off the track, he also stood out in the judged interview and general interaction with the other judges.
“I can’t wait for the season to start!” said Murphy. “I’m really looking forward to working with the team and taking the next step for my racing.”
The SpeedSport Scholarship is run out of Dennis Martin’s Sabre Motorsport and team owner, Martin, is looking forward to another year working with young driving talent.
“We are really looking forward to working with Ronan. He showed he can drive fast and consistent in tricky conditions and I have great confidence he will have a great season.” said Martin.
Ronan will take to the track for his first race in a fortnights time for round one of the Manfeild Winter Series as preparation for the 2018/19 NZ Formula First Championship.