Murphy can't scare up a win
Greg Murphy during qualifying. Photo: Getty Images
BATHURST legend Greg Murphy is pretty sure he can't win today's big race - but he knows who can, and probably will, capture the crown.
After qualifying near the back of the grid in 23rd spot, his worst starting position in more than a decade, Murphy has written off his chances of winning a fifth Bathurst title, declaring his car is ''the scariest I've ever had'' at the daunting Mount Panorama circuit.
But while he has written off his own chances of performing his usual Bathurst 1000 heroics, the popular New Zealander is tipping the Triple Eight Holden team's dynamic duo - reigning V8 Supercars champion Jamie Whincup and five-time Bathurst winner Craig Lowndes - to battle for the victory over today's 161 laps.
''Realistically, I think it's going to be a Triple Eight car,'' Murphy told The Sunday Age. ''Lowndesy's inspired here and Whincup really wants to win again and he knows he can do it. I think it'll be a fight between the two of them.''
As to his own pessimistic prognosis, Murphy has despaired at the recalcitrance of the Kelly Racing Commodore he is sharing with experienced part-timer Owen Kelly, ruling out a repeat of his form-defying pole position and third place in last year's Bathurst 1000.
''We don't have the equipment to do the job,'' he said. ''Even knowing the equipment hasn't been good enough to do the job all year, I was still confident coming here we'd be able to pull a rabbit out of the hat.
''We did it last year, but I can't find the rabbit's ears. They're missing. I don't know what's going on - I really don't understand it. It is the scariest car I've had at Bathurst by some margin.
''It's incredibly disappointing. It's that bad, it hurts.''
Despite his uncanny ability in recent years to conjure podium-contending performances at Mount Panorama no matter how uncompetitive his car during the rest of the V8 Supercars season, he just can't see any prospect of the front-runners falling out or striking problems that would hand him a shot at an upset win.
''There are too many fast cars,'' he said. ''There is a handful of cars there that we know are going to run at the front and for them to falter, it has to be a big falter. So many things have to go wrong for one or two of them, much less all of them, to not be at the front at the finish.
''We just don't have pace … we're going to get stuck in a bunch of traffic and not be able to do anything about it. That's the difference this year.
''I've never qualified outside the top 12 [since his Bathurst debut in 1996] and I haven't been outside the top 10 for the past 10 years, and I'm 23rd on the grid. That really hurts.''