Murphy informed the club, and its members, of his decision during Thursday’s Annual General Meeting at the Yagoona Greyhound Club.
In his address, Murphy reflected on his time as president with a great deal of pride, having seen the club go from one on the precipice of amalgamation, to the capacity grids and competitive racing that we’ve seen in 2016, that make this championship the most popular within the CAMS NSW Motor Racing Championships, and also the best thing going in Australian Production Car racing.
Murphy cited his recent relocation to Queensland as the primary reason behind his decision to step aside as president (of NSWPTC), but still intends to do what he can, where he can for the southern series, while also working with the ever increasing team that will make up the Queensland committee, to make the series north of the border just as prosperous and vibrant as its southern counterpart.
The last five years of the NSW series proves that Murphy is the right person to make that happen. His contribution to this form of motor racing doesn’t stop at the great things he’s achieved with, and for, the NSW Production Touring Car Championship.
Murphy was integral in getting the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour off the ground.
The return of a long-distance Easter Sunday Production race on the Mountain came on the back of the continued success and interest in the NSWPTC Championship’s annual appearance at the Bathurst Motor Festival, and along with the event promoter, James O’Brien, Murphy played a leading role in making the event a reality – and with that came a new, reinvigorated interest in Production Car racing both at State and National level, with a positive flow on effect for the rest of 2016.
As mentioned above, the Queensland PTC Championship will launch in 2017, consisting of only endurance races, with the meetings to be held at Queensland Raceway and Lakeside Raceway, and in his departing speech, Murphy pledged to be hard at work, to not only establish the series, but also some fantastic events within, to entice the NSW members to come and race in the Sunshine State.
He is also committed to continuing as a racer in the series – he’ll be on the grid at Winton in two weeks time, as the NSW Club Championship and MoComm Cup conclude for season 2016, and has already set his sights on getting the #1 off Matthew Holt in 2017.
You can read Gerry Murphy’s full statement below.
Gerry Murphy Statement.
I was at a corporate function in the CBD in 2011, when I got a call from Sam Rigoli that I had been elected President of NSW Production Touring.
This was a surprise to me as I didn’t nominate myself for the role.
However, I had a good feeling about this category and saw that it was full of quality people both on and off the track.
Grid Numbers were pretty low at that time and there was talk of amalgamation with other categories.
We decided that wasn’t going to happen and we set about rebuilding this fantastic club.
It was all hands on deck as we went in search of competitors, sponsors and people to help us out. The magnificent existing committee worked tirelessly to provide the best championship we could manage.
We developed the governing principle of PTC, that all we do must be cost effective and sustainable and adhering to that has given us a solid basis from which to promote the category.
The early days were like trench warfare, with those that were trying to rewrite our regulations to their benefit, unfairly influence decisions and even stop us running at all. Unfortunately for them, they picked the wrong club to mess with.
We fought, We persevered, we prospered.
We now have grids bursting at the seams, vibrant Championships and we race at great tracks all over the eastern seaboard. We have a tyre deal with a major manufacturer, our own DSO, in house TV, our own unique Commentator, a gala presentation function and what I believe is the best suite of competitors benefits.
And no matter what anyone says, the 6 Hour exists because of everyone in this room. You made it possible through your dedication to the 1 hours at Bathurst, your professionalism on the track and in the pits and your willingness to pursue the dream of a 6 Hour race at Bathurst for Production Cars.
I remind James O’Brien that when I first asked to be included on the programme, he told me he didn’t need us!
We have made huge strides in this club with new members, new cars, returning old members and the existing evergreen crop of hard core NSWPTCers. This is without doubt the best drivers group I have ever been involved with.
Even here in QLD, we are spoken about in glowing terms, and there is a lot of excitement about the potential up here. I can definitely see an IPRA style national title in the near future.
So, why am I naval gazing about all the achievements of my beloved club…
Well, while I’m sitting up in Noosa and you are all at the AGM in the magnificent Yagoona Greyhound Club, it dawned on me that a President should be leading from the front at times like these. Whilst I have been hard at work for you all, it has been very hard for me to get down to Sydney for meetings and race meetings this year.
Whilst I fully intend on taking Holty’s number 1 from him next season, I think that having a NSW club with a QLD President is not the most efficient model for operation.
So, it is with a great deal of sadness to advise I will not be nominating for President for the 2017 season.
Rob Coulthard, as VP has done an awesome job this year and I support him to contest the main role.
I will provide him with all the support and continue to work to serve the members in any way possible. I will also be working to grow the QLD branch and prepare some great races for you all in the Sunshine State.
I thank you all for the opportunity to serve the club. Its sometimes been a wild ride but at all times it’s been rewarding, challenging and fun.
I look forward to seeing you all at Winton and at the start of season 2017.
And remember, be fast, be safe and be impressive.
I’m for the driver….