The newly crowned 2016 BRSCC British National Formula Ford 1600 Champion Niall Murray made the trip to Croft last weekend for the final weekend of the series, hoping to finish a hugely successful season in style.
It was business as usual for Murray in Qualifying, the Dubliner securing his sixth pole position of the year from eight weekends to put him in a prime starting position for the first of the weekend’s two races on Saturday afternoon.
Race one would test the skills of the Murray Motorsport supported driver during the early part of the race. A poor getaway off the line sent the Van Diemen man down to third at the end of the opening lap and now with some work to do to make his way back to the front. Quickly disposing David McArthur on the second lap, next and last on his list was American driver Chase Owen for the lead.
Murray quickly reeled in his rival and a superb scrap for the top spot was now underway. Coming into Sunny In, both Niall and Chase found themselves testing the braking capabilities of their respective Formula Ford’s, allowing Josh Smith to muscle in on the action. Smith briefly got past Murray, but contact with Owen would send him off and bring out the Safety Car to briefly neutralise the Owen / Murray battle for the race lead.
As the green flag came out on lap seven, a drive-through penalty for race leader Chase Owen would rob Niall of the chance to continue his charge for the lead. From that point on, Murray opened a lead of almost four seconds as he took the chequered flag, with the fastest lap of the race to compliment his race win.
Hoping to finish his season in style in race two, Murray launched his Bernard Dolan Racing Van Diemen off the line from pole position to lead from the end of the opening lap. However his advantage at the front would be short-lived with the Safety Car making a brief appearance on lap two.
When the green flag waved at the start of lap four, Niall was already away, getting the jump on the field as the controller of the pace. Such was the strength of Murray’s restart, he secured his second fastest lap of the weekend on route to charging ahead to take a lights to flag win of almost seven seconds.
Niall Murray – #5 Bernard Dolan Racing Van Diemen RF99:
“Another great weekend in the BRSCC Formula Ford 1600 Championship with maximum points for the championship. We are constantly developing the car so it was great to win with a different engine and trying a different setup too. Once again I can’t thank Bernard [Dolan] and Sam [Dolan] enough for running a faultless car.”