Murray raises British FF 1600 Championship title

By Stephen Leonard

ANOTHER double race win in Donington Park was more than enough to secure Niall Murray the 2016 BRSCC British National Formula Ford 1600 Championship.

The Firhouse man has dominated the series this year so much so that he has the title wrapped up with three rounds remaining and, with it, passage to the USA-based Mazda Road of Indy Shootout in Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on December 6/7.

Niall Murray 01 September 2016

There, some 17 top competitors from Formula Ford, or similar, championships around the world will battle it out for $200,000 worth of funding for a season of racing in the USF2000 Championship next year.

Leading the British series by some 98 points coming into last weekend’s rounds, Murray knew a steady performance could see him over the line.

Yet he went for it, securing pole position for the opening race- his fifth such start of the year.

And he remained out in front despite some fierce pressure from Luke Williams who eventually spun off on lap 14 after hitting a damp patch, and Murray subsequently cantered home to secure the championship title.

Despite having bagged the prize, Murray refused to let up and won the second race even though he was briefly overtaken by compatriot Stephen Daly.

What’s more he registered a new lap record around the Donington Park National Circuit, capping off a tremendous run in the series.

“The car was just so good” Murray told The Echo. “I can’t give enough credit to Bernard Dolan and his team, they were just brilliant.

“After the first couple of rounds of this champ-ionship this season I felt I had a real chance of winning it.

“What really made it for me was the previous round in Anglesey. I was 45 points up going into that, but if I didn’t score anything and James Raven had won, we would have been level on points.

“But instead I got two wins and more than doubled my lead.

Niall Murray -July 14 2016

“Coming into Donington I was just treating it like any other race but deep down I was telling myself not to mess this up.

“I always seem to drive well at Donington. I did the Ginetta Juniors there back in 2011/12 and took the win, setting the lap record. So now I have the record for that and the Formula Ford there” he said.

“Murray, who has now won ten of 14 races in the series so far and made the podium 11 times, has opted not to contest the next rounds in Croft on September 10/11.

“This will allow him to save finances in order to contest both the Formula Ford Festival in Brands Hatch at the end of October and the Walter Hayes Trophy in Silverstone two weeks later.

“These meets will serve to help prepare him for the trip to Laguna Seca in December- his primary goal this year.

“Even just to go there to Laguna Seca is great but to be actually competing there with the possibility of winning a $200,000 cheque is just incredible” he said.

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