Today we are focusing on Liam Murphy, an 18 year old racing driver from Lancaster in England. During the 2014 season Liam was racing in the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Supercup.
What is the Mazda MX-5 Supercup?
The Mazda MX-5 Supercup is a championship that is run by the British Racing and Sports Car Club (BRSCC). The BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Supercup had a brilliant first season in 2013, Andrew Clarkson emerged from the season as the first Mazda MX-5 Supercup Champion after having a season lon battle with Paul Sheard. The two fighting for the championship were level on points for the start of the final race in 2013, they raced level throughout the whole race, they even went round the final corner side by side, the title fight could not have been any closer! The cars that are raced in this championship is the Mazda Mk3. They are a fast and reliable sports car with some sensible modifications. This championship creates a platform for car racing where its the driver who makes the difference and not the budget. The cars are modern, not too complicated and can be run from home, like a lot of the drivers do. There are also a few specialist race preparers who offer race support as well as the ‘Arrive and Drive’ packages that people can choose. New, exciting upgrades were introduced for 2014, these saw speeds increase and the racing became more exhilarating than it ever has been. No other championship within the UK offers the closeness and competitiveness of racing between identical cars, that were production sports cars and so cost effectively like this championship does. In this championship all cars must have at least one onboard camera that is positioned to show the track ahead of the car, driver and the dashboard, that displays the drivers race number. The camera must be on and recording at all times whilst the car is on track during any official free practices, qualifying sessions and races.
Liam has been involved in motorsport for about 10 years, it was the adrenaline racing caused that made him want to race and be involved within the motorsport world. Liam feels that the Mazda MX5 Supercup has been the championship he has mostly enjoyed racing in because they are brilliant cars to drive, its great fun for him and the racing is really close and makes his adrenaline pump like crazy. Liam’s idol and favourite driver is Rob Austin, he chose Rob Austin as his idol because he is such a brilliant character, makes a lot of time for his fans and he’s just a people person, who is easy to get along with. Liam loves working as part of a team because in his team he has all of his family are involved in one way or another within his team. He doesn’t really have a training regime, he just works on the car to set it perfectly ready for the next race weekend and he also tries to get as much excercise as he can between race weekends. Liam feels that Oulton Park is the best track in his opinion because he enjoys racing there. If Liam wasn’t a race car driver he would probably be doing something boring like golf. He is motivated by the hope of seeing the chequered flag at the end of the race to cross the line. The scariest thing to ever happen to Liam on track was that he was going down Rockingham Straight at 130mph, pressed his brakes to try and slow down for the turn but then realised he didn’t have any. He had other competitors all around him but luckily he managed to avoid all of them. He was inspired to race and work in motorsport by his dad and grandad. His future ambition is to race competitively in the British Touring Car Championship, this is also his future career goal. Next year if sponsorships allow him to Liam will go on to compete in the Clio Cup but if not he will again compete in the Mazda Mx-5 Supercup in the hunt to win it this time. If Liam ever became in any sort of trouble on track, his way to cope with it is to breathe, relax and stay focused. He gets very excited when a race weekend is coming up because it makes his adrenaline start pumping and making him excited to get back out on track to compete.Liam would try anything once, he would not just push something aside because it looked or sounded dangerous.
Liam started his career at Rowrah Kart Circuit when he was just 8 years old. It was when his dad put him in a kart abroad that Liam realised that it was motorsport that he wanted to compete in and be involved in any way he could be, since he stepped into the kart he has been addicted to speed and motorsport. The first race series that he started his racing motorsport career in was Cumbria Kart Racing Club. When speaking to Liam about his career in karts he told us “I can remember when I won 2 club championships and also getting 7th place in the British Championship in the Rotax 177 class during 2012”. He also remembers that as he got older he had to keep moving into bigger karts and cars to compete in different championships that were appropriate for his age. He has had some involvement in his brothers’ motorsport career as he used to help them when they used to compete in banger racing. When he isn’t racing he works at his dad’s family run garage, this is where he has prepared his own race karts and cars since he was about 10 years old. In the past he has raced for ST Racing in 2012 in the Super One British Champinship and then for CMM Motorspares in 2013 in the Max5 Championship, then he has raced for the same team in the 2014 Mazda MX-5 Supercup. In five years time Liam hopes to be competing in the British Touring Car Championship. In ten years time he hopes to be the British Touring Car Champion.
During 2014 Liam was competing in the Mazda MX-5 Supercup, he chose to race in this championship because it is cost effective and has some really good competitive racing within the series. Another reason he chose the championship because all the cars have the same specs and power so the racing is equal and no one has an advantage over anyone else. He fought his way through every race he competed in and walked away from the season in fourth place in the championship table. During the 2014 season he competed at new circuits that he had never been to before. Snetterton was a new circuit to Liam, the track there was really greasy and he struggled to get the right set up throughout the weekend of racing there. When speaking about his 2014 season he said “The tracks were brilliant, I love going to new circuits and learning the track layouts and how to race at each different circuit, there is always a different set up for the car for every track we race on”. Liam loved every track he competed at throughout 2014 as he was learning about each track at every race weekend. The races he competed in were on a mixture of greasy and dry tracks across the country. In his opinion every weekend he competed at he felt was “brilliant fun”. Nearly every weekend he was going home with damage to his front and rear bumper, as well as the odd front wings with damage to them. The first round Liam competed at was at Silverstone on the International Circuit. He qualified 9th for race one, unfortunately he did not manage to finish the first race. Then for race two he started from 24th on the grid after not finishing race one, during this race he managed to battle through tha pack and finish in 10th place. The next round was at Brands Hatch in Kent, he qualified 6th for race one. He battled with other competitors throughout the race and eventually took the chequered flag to take 5th place after fending off other competitors throughout the whole race. For the second race he started from 5th on the grid, he ended the race and took 4th place. The third round for the 2014 season was Cadwell Park, during the qualifying session he qualified in 5th place for race two after having his lap time disallowed due to track limits. For race one he finished in fourth place, which is where he would start race two from. Unfortunately Liam was given a four place grid drop due to driving in a manner incompatible with the general safety standards during the first race. Race two came around, because of the four place grid drop, Liam started in 8th place. He battled and fended off other competitors throughout the whole race and eventually took the chequered flag to take 7th place. Then it was time for race three, Liam started from 7th on the grid. He battled his way all through the race and managed to take 4th place. Then it was on to Snetterton for the next round of the championship, at this circuit Liam qualified in 4th place. During race one Liam was in third place battling for a podium finish when another competitor rammed into him from behind, Liam eventually took the chequered flag to take 9th place. For race two he started from 9th place on the grid. During this race he managed to climb up the order a bit and he took 7th place. For the next round in the series it was on to Anglesey, during the qualifying session he qualified in 4th place. Then it was time for race one, after lap one a red flag was issued which brought the race to a halt. After the red flag Liam did not take part in the restart so he was declared as a DNF. Then for race two he started in 16th after not finishing race one, he battled his way through the pack to take 8th place. Then for race two he lined up on the grid to start from 8th place, he was fending off fellow competitors and battling throughout the race and eventually came away with 7th place. Then it was on to Oulton Park, during qualifying here once again Liam had his lap removed due to track limits but he eventually qualified in 7th place. For race one he managed to get 5th place after battling all throughout the race. Then it was time for race two,started in 5th place and battled his way through to take 5th place. Then for the penultimate round of the series it was on to Rockingham, at this circuit he qualified 3rd. For race one he started in 3rd place, done 7 laps of the race then had to retire and this meant he got another DNF. At the beginning of race two, he started from 17th on the grid, battled his way up through the pack and finished in an amazing 4th place. For the final round in the series, they went to Donington Park. At Donington Park Liam managed to qualify in first place, which meant he started on pole for race one. By the end of race one he was still in first place, he took the chequered flag to take the victory. Then for race two, once again Liam got to start on pole position on the grid. He was fending people off throughout the whole race and maintained his position to take his second victory of the weekend. The only times Liam went off track during the season was when he was out doing testing between race weekends. Performances like Liam did at Donington Park shows how much potential he has, he could go far in motorsport.
Follow Liam on Twitter @LMurphyRacin to follow his career within motorsport. Also follow us on Twitter @tilleyphotos , also check out our facebook page for our photography at http://www.facebook.com/tilley.photos All photos seen on our Facebook Page or Twitter account are available for purschase; email us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments, questions or suggestions or if you are interested in purchasing any pictures.
© Fay Tilley 8th December 2014.