Endurance racing team Murphy Prototypes will be showcasing young talent once again when it contests round two of the European Le Mans Series at the legendary Italian circuit of Imola, on Sunday 15th May.
Murphy Prototypes has a reputation for finding and developing young, up-and-coming drivers. In 2013 Brendon Hartley drove for the team, who later went on to become a Porsche factory driver and then FIA World Endurance Champion in 2015, alongside former F1 driver Mark Webber. Pipo Derani was another star in the making that raced with the team. He drove with Murphy Prototypes in 2014 and then went on to win this year’s 24-Hours at Daytona and 12-Hours of Sebring.
At the first round of this year’s European Le Mans Series at Silverstone last month, the team’s three rookie drivers – who each made their prototype sportscar debut – delivered an impressive performance, after fighting their way up to 10th place having started from the last row of the grid following a tough qualifying session.
The trio of up-and-coming youngsters racing with Murphy Prototypes at Imola are:
Seán Doyle: Driving the team’s Oreca 03R for the very first time at Silverstone, Doyle showed his potential by posting strong lap times that were on the pace of the more experienced professional drivers running at the front of the ELMS field. The 22-year old from Wicklow had has also shown great promise in his native Ireland, having won numerous races and young driver awards. He has also been selected by Nissan Ireland as one of its Next Generation sporting ambassadors.
Garry Findlay: Making his ELMS debut in the final round of the 2015 season at Estoril in Portugal, an inspirational drive saw the 26-year old from Norfolk secure a well-deserved finish on the LMP3 podium. Findlay has already shown his potential as a front-running prototype sportscar driver, having honed his skills in Formula Fords and VdeV sportscars.
Patrick McClughan: The 20-year old from Newtownabbey in Northern Ireland started his motorsport career in the Ginetta Junior Championship. In 2015, he contested the Radical Sprint Championship and scored an impressive 12 wins and multiple fastest laps during the season’s 21 races. He also won the coveted Sunoco Challenge award last year that comprised a fully funded drive at Daytona in January.
Speaking of the young drivers who are joining the team for the 4-Hours of Imola, team principal Greg Murphy said:
“Our team has always been committed to showcasing young talent and giving drivers the opportunity to develop their natural ability. Garry has already demonstrated what he can do in Formula Ford and then underlined it in VdeV. Patrick is an incredibly exciting prospect: he has shown his speed in the Radical Championship and has even beaten former Murphy Prototypes drivers such as Alex Kapadia and James Littlejohn. Seán did a great job for us at Silverstone on his first time out in an LMP2 car and it’s good to have him driving for us again.
“All three of them are quick and hungry young drivers, so I’m thrilled they are with us at Imola. We are confident that racing with Murphy Prototypes will be a huge step forward in helping them reach their motorsport goals.”
The action at Imola begins on Friday 13th May with 90-minutes of Free Practice in the afternoon. Another 90-minutes takes place on Saturday morning with the 10-minute qualifying session due to start at 14.30. The four-hour race is scheduled to get the green light at 14.00 on Sunday. All times are CEST.
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