Cooper Murray scores Triple Eight wildcard seat
Super2 young gun to race with legend Craig Lowndes
Murray aiming for main game with enduro wildcard chance
Super2 young gun Cooper Murray has been named as the latest rising star to earn a seat in Triple Eight Race Engineering’s wildcard with legend Craig Lowndes.
Murray will make his main game debut in the #888 Supercheap Auto-backed Chevrolet Camaro alongside seven-time Bathurst winner Lowndes.
The youngster returns to the Dunlop Series in 2024 with Eggleston Motorsport, having finished fourth in his rookie campaign last year.
Murray impressed in his maiden season in Supercars machinery, winning the first race of the season in Newcastle before adding another at Sandown.
He joins Eggleston teammate and Super2 champion Kai Allen on the grid, with the latter to race with Will Davison and the Shell V-Power Racing Team.
Murray began racing karts at age 10, and progressed through state- and national-level Formula Ford, Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge and Carrera Cup.
The 22-year-old follows in the footsteps of Broc Feeney (2021), Declan Fraser (2022) and Zane Goddard (2023) to get a chance to show their skills in Triple Eight’s wildcard.
Feeney and Fraser secured full-time seats the year after their wildcard starts, with Murray keen to score results alongside Lowndes.
Lowndes/Fraser finished eighth in the 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000, with Lowndes/Goddard 10th in last year’s Penrite Oil Sandown 500.
Triple Eight will announce the wildcard’s 2024 season launch date, livery reveal and event entries in due course.
“I’m super excited and extremely grateful to have this amazing opportunity to join such a prestigious team in Triple Eight and an icon in our sport, Craig Lowndes. It’s going to be a very exciting year and I can’t wait to get stuck into it,” Murray said.
“I’ve always admired what Supercheap Auto and Triple Eight have done with this wildcard program, giving young kids the chance to prove themselves and seeing what it takes.
"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.
“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.”
Lowndes heads into 2024 off the back of a new two-year deal with Triple Eight, with Bathurst start No. 31 on the horizon.
“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.
“Every team has a different philosophy and way of working. For me, I’ve always loved the way Triple Eight have continued their ethos, and it’s always been exciting to bring new people into that environment to see them thrive.
"It will be important for him to get familiar with the team early so once we start to share a car, we’ll know each other more than what we already do.”
Murray tested with Eggleston at Winton Motor Raceway earlier this week, and will commence his hunt for the 2024 Dunlop Series crown at the Thrifty Bathurst 500 on February 23-25.