After contesting three APRC events with Eli Evans in 2006, Chris Murphy is set to make a comeback to the series, this time sitting beside Cusco driver Dean Herridge.
The new partnership was formed as a result of Herridge’s regular co-driver, Bill Hayes, teaming up with Rifat Sungkar for the full APRC season. Speaking from his home in Perth, Herridge said “I’ve been in constant contact with Bill about my campaign for this year, but he’s chosen to take on-board the Motor Image program, which includes all the Asia-Pacific rounds. We may find Bill teaming up with me for the (Chinese Rally Championship) events, and Bill and I are a good combination, we get on well in the car” .
Not only will the New Caledonia round be the first time Murphy and Herridge have shared a car, and it will be a completely new event for both of them. Although Murphy has previous APRC experience, it was at rallies Malaysia, Indonesia and China only.
The other news from the Herridge camp is that Dean will reunite with Glenn MacNeall for Targa Tasmania in mid-April. MacNeall and Herridge were a team for many years at Subaru Australia. That partnership ended in 2005, with MacNeall joining Chris Atkinson for a Subaru WRC factory drive.
Meanwhile, Rifat Sungkar and Bill Hayes announced their partnership at a press conference held in Jakarta earlier this week. “I’m looking forward to a full year with Subaru and working with Bill Hayes, there’s lots to learn and work on for the future. I’ve been training hard, running 4-5 kilometres around a giant stadium in central Jakarta every day and I feel fit and ready” said Sungkar.
And as preparation for the coming season, Hayes will join Rifat for the first round of the Indonesian national series, which kicks off tomorrow in South Sumatera.