Walkinstown’s Niall Murray has provisionally sealed the deal on his second British National Formula Ford 1600 Championship title with three races remaining, compliments of his race three victory last weekend in Croft.
The 2016 champion returned to the series with the newly formed Team DOLAN, led by Formula Ford preparation expert Bernard Dolan.
Murray secured a trio of podium finishes at the opening round that included a win in race three to serve notice to his rivals that he would be the man to beat in 2018.
He won nine races after that, including all three races in Castle Combe. His potential fairytale ending at Croft started off on a tricky note when mixed weather conditions during Saturday’s qualifying impacted the normal starting order for race one and also saw himl unusually set to start from ninth.
Suspension failure forced him into retirement during the opening race. He started race two in 17th following that retirement
Knowing that finishing as high up as possible would be crucial towards his race three charge, Murray set about carefully working his way up the order, earning him a seventh place.
Crucially, the reverse grid draw played into his hands to place him on the outside of the front row for the last race of the day.
As the lights went out, it appeared Murray’s fortunes over the weekend were finally taking a turn for the better, a superb start saw the Van Diemen man shoot past his teammate Jack Wolfenden and into the lead.
Charging ahead, Murray controlled the race from the front throughout, and despite the advances of fellow Irishman Jordan Dempsey, was able to secure his 11th win of the season.
It extended his advantage at the top of the points table beyond the reach of his rivals to provisionally secure his second BRSCC National Formula Ford 1600 Championship title.
“I’m absolutely delighted to unofficially seal my sixth championship in five years today with three rounds still to go,” he said.
“The weekend started out as a bit of a disaster with a poor qualifying and then broken suspension in the wet race one forced me to retire.
“We’ve had a few DNFs this season but I’m delighted to say that I’ve won at least one race at every weekend this year and today’s first race was the only race all year I’ve finished off the podium.”