Murray on the double to seal NI C’ship title

A DOUBLE win in Kirkistown saw Niall Murray complete his march to the 2017 Dawson WAM Northern Ireland Formula Ford 1600 Championship last weekend.

Having spent the days leading up to the event in Watkins Glen, testing a 175 BHP Tatuus USF-17 in preparation for his Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda debut, the Firhouse man was back in his Van Diemen LA10 for the penultimate weekend of this series.

Niall Murray punches the air to celebrate his dominant pair of wins in Kirkistown

Despite the qualifying session being ended prematurely, Murray had done enough to securing a starting berth on the outside of the front row for the opening race of the day.

 He was out in front by the time he headed into the first corner, but, after being forced wide on to the grass coming into Colonial one, he re-joined the contest at the back of the field.

Still he remained composed and moved steadily up the leaderboard, leaving him with the task of chasing down teammate James Roe to move into the top three.

He then overtook Alan Davison to move into third before getting by Roe and later Jordan Dempsey to move back into the lead which he held until the finish.

Saturday afternoon’s second and final race of the day would see the Champion-elect start from pole position and keen to finish his impressive weekend in style.

He made the most of his front row start to lead into the first corner, a position he would not relinquish for the duration of the race despite the attentions of Roe early on and David McCullough towards the end.

 Murray’s pair of wins puts him out of reach of his nearest rivals in the battle to secure his second Northern Ireland Formula Ford 1600 title and crucially with it, a ticket to the Road to Indy Shootout at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca later this year.

 “Tricky day’s racing, but it couldn’t have ended any better,” said a delighted Murray.

“Can’t thank Bernard [Dolan], Sam [Dolan] and Dave [Healy] enough for all the help throughout the year to win my fifth FF1600 title with Bernard’s team,” he added.

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