Kellys pledge to stand by injured Murphy
Kelly Racing has declared it will stand by injured driver Greg Murphy, who will sit out the next four V8 Supercars events with a recurrence of his back problems.
Murphy, 39 years of age, announced he would miss the next three months of the season, which equates to four events, with the need for further surgery on his troublesome back that was injured in a qualifying crash at the Clipsal 500 in March.
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Kelly Racing said it would announce a replacement for Murphy on Monday ahead of next weekend's event in Darwin, but all thoughts for the moment were with the injured Kiwi, who will undergo surgery in Melbourne next week.
"Kelly Racing has as its fundamental interest at present Greg's medical wellbeing and all 60-plus members of the team wish for Greg to have successful surgery and a great recovery," said a statement from the team.
"Greg has set his sights on a best case return to the Pepsi Max Crew car for the Sandown race (September 12-16) or worst case the October Bathurst 1000."
Murphy is set to partner Owen Kelly in the Pepsi Max Crew entry at the endurance events, with the team's Dunlop Series driver and co-driver to Rick Kelly, David Russell, the likely candidate to replace Murphy, as he did at Symmons Plains in April.
"We will be doing everything we can to assist Greg in making a full recovery, and depending on his medical advice, get him back racing as soon as practical," said co-team owner Rick Kelly.
"Greg is one tough, hard character who will bounce back strong from this unfortunate set back to his 2012 racing season."
However, Murphy's injury casts further doubts over his future in V8 Supercars and at Kelly Racing, with whom he has a contract till the end of the 2012 season.
Murphy will have to cut his lucrative ties to Holden to stay with Kelly Racing in 2013, as the team will be rebranded as the factory Nissan Motorsport team running four Nissan Altima entries from next season.
"It is a process we are working through," Rick Kelly told the latest issue of V8X Magazine on the driver situation for the new factory team, where he and brother Todd are the only locked in drivers for the four-car team.
"At this date there are two drivers confirmed for next year and two that we need to confirm."
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Kelly Racing said it would continue with plans to launch the latest Pepsi Max Crew livery at the SKYCITY Triple Crown in Darwin next weekend, where Murphy was set to be centre stage in the launch and the major hospitality program for the Pepsi and Schweppes team.
"This is like the old saying of 'the best laid plans of mice and men going astray'," said Rick Kelly.
Stay tuned to V8X.com.au for the announcement of Murphy's replacement.
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