Cooper Murray will make main game debut with Craig Lowndes
Murray the latest young driver to get Triple Eight wildcard shot
Super2 race winner aiming for full-time Supercars driver
Craig Lowndes is keen to work with incoming Triple Eight wildcard driver Cooper Murray, who is keen to reach the main game.
Murray, 22, will make his Supercars debut alongside Lowndes in a Triple Eight Race Engineering wildcard Camaro this year.
The Super2 race winner becomes the latest driver to score a prized Triple Eight wildcard seat, following in the footsteps of Broc Feeney (2021), Declan Fraser (2022) and Zane Goddard (2023).
Feeney and Fraser's efforts were the springboard into a main game berth the following season, with the former now a front-runner in Supercars with Triple Eight.
Lowndes knows Murray has what it takes, having raced him in Porsche Carrera Cup Australia. Lowndes completed the full 2021 season, with Murray finishing runner-up to current full-time Supercars driver Cameron Hill.
"I’m excited to be back for another year. This program has been so successful over the last few years, starting off with Declan and Zane last year. Now with Cooper Murray, it’s going to be a really exciting year," Lowndes said.
"Every year we’ve been doing the wildcard, we continuously improve on the little things, but the main thing is to give the young guys the chance to improve, impress and hopefully we can share a bit of our wisdom so they can step up to bigger and better things.
"I’ve raced against Cooper in the Porsche series before, and he’s since stepped up into Super2. With my commentary role, I’ve obviously interviewed him a number of times and he presents very well.
"His race craft is good and he thinks on his feet which is even better. I’m really excited to work with him, share a car with him and see what his feedback is like so I can help him out both on-and-off the track."
Murray won two races in his maiden season in a Supercar last year, breaking through in the very first race of the Dunlop Series after a daring overtake on veteran Jack Perkins.
The Victorian will also dovetail his Super2 exploits with trackside time with Triple Eight at main game events as he readies to embed himself in the furnace of the main game.
It all ensures Murray will be ready should an opening arise in Supercars full-time in 2025, with a number of drivers off-contract at year's end.
"If you look at Broc and Declan, they both got the opportunity to become main game drivers the year after their wildcard stint, and then obviously with Zane last year, it was great to see him get back in a car after a tough few years for him,” Murray said.
“100 per cent my aim is to get into the main game. Competing in both Super2 and the wildcard program this year is going to give me a lot of experience and hopefully I can progress into the Supercars Championship.
"I’m now looking forward to being with Triple Eight at race meetings this year and taking everything they do in and learn as much as I can."
Murray will commence his 2024 Dunlop Series campaign at the Thrifty Bathurst 500 on February 23-25. Tickets are on sale now.