BRSCC British Formula Ford 1600 Championship leader Niall Murray travelled to Brands Hatch in Kent last weekend for rounds nine and ten of the series, firmly intent on extending his margin at the top of the standings. Murray was confident, and with good reason. The former British Grand Prix host venue was where in 2013 Murray catapulted himself amongst the Formula Ford 1600 greats by winning the famous Formula Ford Festival in his rookie season.
From the word go on Friday morning, Niall set himself out as the unofficial pace of the field, however when the clocks were started for real on Saturday morning in qualifying, it all became official – pole for Saturday’s race by over one tenth of a second, all the more significant given that just one second separated the top 20 drivers.
From there Niall put on a textbook display of Formula Ford driving during Saturday afternoon’s race. Starting from the front row, by the end of the opening lap Murray had built a slender gap over his nearest rival Luke Williams. From there he began to build an unchallenged lead right to the end of the race, taking his fifth win of the season and the fastest lap of the race for good measure.
Hoping he could make it a fairytale ending to his weekend, Murray lined up once more on pole position, compliments of his race win on Saturday. However this time around Niall wouldn’t have things quite his own way, Luke Williams in the new Ralf Firman Racing machine found a way past Murray at the end of the opening lap. However a totally unphased Murray bided his time and just a single lap later was now back in the lead. Keen to ensure he would remain in front, Niall got his head down to break the tow to those behind him and in doing so, set the fastest lap of the race. Crossing the finish line for the final time, Murray’s winning margin was a comfortable 10.4 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
Niall Murray – #5 Bernard Dolan Motorsport Van Diemen RF99:
“What a weekend. Coming to Brands Hatch I was feeling very confident that we should be able to have a good run, but with such a competitive field of cars this weekend it definitely wasn’t going to be easy. A weekend like this is just what I need for the championship, but a lot of this result is down to the car and the fantastic job by Bernard Dolan all weekend, and of course to our engine builder Morgan Dempsey. Looking ahead to Anglesey, I haven’t raced there before, so I’m looking forward to the challenge of another new circuit. As always, a big thank you to all my sponsors, it’s great to repay their support with a weekend like this, hopefully it won’t be the last one!”