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Weston Beach Race - 3 October 2018
Murphy Back for the Battle of the Quads at HydroGarden Weston Beach Race Powered by KTM
RHL Activities is pleased to announce that double quad race winner Stefan Murphy will be back for this year’s battle in the Quadzilla quad class at the HydroGarden Weston Beach Race Powered by KTM on October 19-21.
Murphy first raced on the sands of Weston-Super-Mare back in 2005 and has since enjoyed a variety of results from DNF’s to podium honours, to finally securing his first victory in 2016. The quad-ace cemented his position at the top of the field with a back-to-back win last year, despite having not raced much in the lead up to the event.
This year will be a different experience for the aviation valeting expert. Murphy has decided to become part of a project with the Honda CRQF team in developing and promoting their quad, beginning with racing at Weston. He’s competed a little this year on various machinery, but not regularly, and will be working hard in the next few weeks to be ready for the battle of the dunes.
“I’ve raced a bit, I’ve done a few races in the British Championship series, I think I did three rounds and I had a mixture of bikes, results and teams to work with. I don’t have any of my own bikes, so I was just jumping from one to the other as and when I could and the offers to ride came along,” said Murphy.
“We had one top 10 - the speed was there but lack of bike time was the problem. I wasn’t riding consistently enough, I wasn’t fit or riding like I needed to expect a result. For Weston I’ll be riding a Honda CRQF, which I’ve spent some time in Belgium riding in the last few weeks. I’m working now with the CRQF team in Belgium helping to promote and develop a quad, and Weston is our starting point.There is a bit of pressure there, as other than Paul Winrow I don’t think anyone has done three in a row on a quad, and it’s my aim to do that. That’s one of the reasons for me to come back. I’m just taking it as a bit of fun, the same as every year.”
Murphy has been developing his business over the years and this takes priority over any quad riding, as the 28-year-old employs 55 staff globally with his aviation detailing and valeting business. Travelling on a regular basis, he says it’s been very difficult to train, but with the new project he’s involved with, he would like to commit more time to racing.
“We work on private jets and with commercial airlines. The commercial side has been growing; it is around 30% of our business and continuing to grow. I’ve been doing this job since 2008 – I was a car valeter, and I met a guy that was managing some private jets. He called upon me and asked if I could valet an aircraft. I obviously had no idea what I was doing, but it kind of went from there really. I got some frequent contracts and employed some people and it’s just continued to grow over the years. You have to run with opportunities when they are there – don’t get me wrong, my day to day life seven days a week very heavily relies on me being involved with my business – in fact after the race last year at Weston I got off the quad and I was straight back on the phone sorting some issues out.”
“It’s extremely hard to find ride time with running a business, and I’ve had to say to myself if I’m going to ride and I’m going to try and be competitive then I need to put some time behind it. Right at this point I’ve got a few weeks to get to where we need to be and I will be using that time as best as I possibly can to do as much riding as I possibly can that’s suitable for what we’re actually doing. Bike fitness is key, so I’ll be working on that especially in Holland and Belgium. I probably won’t get to race before Weston, but if something comes up I might try and do it. I’m trying to race a bike I’ve never ridden before, and I need to get dialled in on that. I rode it about a week ago for the first time, and I’d definitely like to say thanks to Gerben Vruggink for his work in creating this opportunity and building the bike; he’s behind the CRQF and he’s building them. It’s won the Dutch championship this year and came third in a 12-hour endurance race, so it’s got everything ticking all the right boxes for Weston. I gelled with it well – it’s a good, powerful and strong bike.”
The CRQF Honda team and quad have not raced at the HydroGarden Weston Beach Race Powered by KTM before, but with Murphy’s years of experience and their involvement with Dakar teams, Murphy is confident of what he can achieve. He has stated that there are around 20 riders who are capable of doing well in the quad class from the British Championship class to previous competitors, so he knows that on the day he needs things to go his way, but he loves coming and racing at Weston.
“It’s a whole new challenge, and even though the team haven’t raced at Weston I think with my experience and their experience combined we should be okay. They are the team behind a team that runs in the Dakar series, so in terms of bike preparation and all of that kind of thing these guys are operating at a much higher level of bike and support – riding and racing is huge for them.”
“I’ve no idea (why he would want to race such a gruelling event). If you talk about doing a three-hour race tomorrow I’d say absolutely not, go away (laughs). I am trying to do three in a row, and I’m working on the project for the bike. I’ve got a lot of fond memories of people that have been involved over the years doing it with me and for me. Gareth puts on a good event and it’s always good to go and have a bit of fun, as at the end of the day that is what it’s all about. I still have to go to work on a Monday regardless of whether I win or not, it’s just a bit of fun that I can talk about for weeks on end win or lose!”
For more information and tickets for the HydroGarden Weston Beach Race Powered by KTM please visit www.rhlactivities.com
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