Dublin, Ireland - Monday 28th July 2014: Niall Murray returned to Kirkistown for the next two rounds of the Northern Ireland Formula Ford Championship after a lengthy summer break. The Dubliner who has set the pace of the field for the majority of the races at the County Down circuit so far this season was aiming to add to his winning tally again and further extend his championship advantage.
Niall started as he meant to continue at Friday’s pre-event test with the unofficial fastest time and carried this pace into Saturday morning’s qualifying session. Murray set both the first and second fastest time of the session earning him the top spot for both of the day’s races.
Race one was initially due to get underway shortly after lunch but a deluge of rain meant that organisers implemented a timetable reshuffle to allow the standing water to subside. When the race did get underway, Murray got a good start off the line on a circuit that was still comprehensively covered in water. Despite a challenge from Jake Byrne into the first corner, Murray managed to break away from the field and open up a small advantage in front. However the tricky wet conditions caught out the young Dubliner approaching the hairpin and later at Fishermans shifting him down the order. Over the remainder of the race, Niall showed his class and just how comfortable he is in the Motorsport Ireland Formula Ford, making his way back up to fourth as he took the flag after 15 minutes of racing.
As race two approached, the skies looked like they were going to remain clear for the duration of the final race of the day. However just as the cars were about to be released onto the circuit, the rain started to appear and this left a very small window of opportunity to make a final change towards a wet setup. Niall’s experienced FCR Media Racing team lead by Bernard Dolan managed to make a crucial roll bar adjustment that would provide him with more grip in the wet conditions. Once again Murray got a top class start off the line to lead into the first corner. Keen not to repeat his earlier mistakes, Niall got his head down and opened a healthy advantage ahead of class newcomer Alan Davidson. Setting fastest lap along the way, Murray took the flag in first position to extend his lead in the Northern Ireland Formula Ford Championship.
Niall Murray - #5 Motorsport Ireland Van Dieman Formula Ford:
“Very up and down day with a couple of small mistakes in race one. I still ended up as top points scorer and showed my strong pace in both wet and dry conditions with two dry fastest laps in qualifying and two wet fastest laps in the races. I’m leading the championship by over 40 points now with four races to go so the pressure is still on to continue getting some good results. Thanks a million again to all my sponsors this year for the amazing support and to Bernard and Sam Dolan at FCR Media Racing for doing a great job all weekend with a great car once again.”
Photographs by Tom Maxwell