How rising star Murray caught Lowndes' eye

29 May
Rising Super2 star Cooper Murray completed his first test day with Triple Eight on Tuesday
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Cooper Murray’s willingness to embrace the step from Super2 to the main game with Triple Eight has caught Craig Lowndes’ eye, following the duo’s first test day together.

Murray — who recently made headlines over his involvement in a Super2 accident in Perth — completed his first test day alongside Lowndes, Race Engineer Wes McDougall and Triple Eight at Queensland Raceway on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s running will prove valuable for Murray, who will debut at next month's betr Darwin Triple Crown before racing with Lowndes in the enduros.

From pit stops to tyre saving, Murray went through several processes he hasn’t even exposed to in Super2, but seven-time Bathurst winner Lowndes was impressed by how the youngster took it in his stride.

"For Cooper, in Super2 they obviously don’t do a lot of pit stop practice, so we did a lot of work in that area so he could get used to going in-and-out of the pit bay,” Lowndes said.

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"He’s been doing some race starts, getting some longer runs under his belt and a few tyre saving strategies which he’ll continue to learn at his first solo race in Darwin, which are very important when we get to Sandown and Bathurst.

"It’s also the first time Cooper has worked with Wes which is important because that combination is going to have to be strong.

"Cooper knows this is a step up from Super2, and he’s embraced it. He’s very focused and confident on what he wants to do.

"I’m really delighted he’s come onboard this year and I’m feeling very confident going into Sandown and Bathurst.”

It wasn’t Murray’s first Gen3 running, following an evaluation day with Erebus Motorsport at Winton Motor Raceway last year.

However, where that was an evaluation day, Murray was handed the reins of the Triple Eight Camaro for the balance of Tuesday, setting the rising star up for his Darwin debut on June 14-16.

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“Today has been great. We’ve been getting through our program and I’ve been getting used to driving the Gen3 Camaro around,” Murray said.

"There hasn’t been much of a difference compared to what I thought there would be – I got used to the car in the first couple of sessions which was really good.

"I got a couple of green tyre runs, some pit stop practices and some race runs under my belt, so I’m feeling really good before Darwin.

"It was my first time doing pit stops today and they were surprisingly easier than I thought. I’m learning to stop on the marks and hit the pit board which is a steep learning curve, but I’m so glad I’ve got that under my belt before Darwin.

"Lowndesy has been a big help today, I’m sure he’d want more laps but unfortunately for him I’m hogging them all! It’s been great to work with him and compare data which will only help us improve before enduro season.”

Murray will make his Supercars debut at the betr Darwin Triple Crown on June 14-16. Tickets for the event are on sale now. International viewers can follow all the action on Superview.

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