Murray takes third in Ginetta Junior Championship
October 22, 2012 by Paul Grogan
Approaching the final weekend of the season, Niall Murray remained very much in the title race despite his 40-point deficit to championship leader Charlie Robertson. Coming from a mixed weekend that turned good with a return to the podium in race two at Silverstone, Murray was more confident than ever and really up for the challenge at the Brands Hatch GP Circuit.
With second fastest time in Saturday morning’s free practice, Murray and his Douglas Motorsport team were happy that everything was just right for qualifying later in the morning. A dry qualifying session allowed all drivers to run on slick racing tyres and as is now the norm this season. The ultra close qualifying session saw the order change on many occasions but as the session came to a close Niall put his Kennett supported Ginetta G40 fourth on the grid for Saturday afternoon’s race one.
Starting on the outside of the grid in fourth position Murray got the best start of the leading quartet to move into second on the run up to Druids. Niall who knew that win’s now the only chance he had of keeping his championship challenge alive. Murray used all his Ginetta Junior experience to try and pressure rookie driver Pepe Massot into a mistake so he could move into the lead. However Niall began a superb run leaving Clearways and over the start finish line to find a way up the inside of Massot on the run up to Druids. The superb move rewarded Murray with the race lead and he now got his head down to open a gap over the Spanish driver in second. However Massot now fell into the clutches of Douglas Motorsport teammate Andrew Watson and as the pair battled for position, this allowed Murray to open a lead that he would never loose. As the chequered flag was waved it was Niall who took a fine victory with teammate Andrew Watson in third.
A wet Brands Hatch GP circuit greeted the drivers for Sunday’s race two. Niall put his car third on the grid, still with a very slim chance to taking the championship victory should pole man Robertson encounter any infringements during the race. Once again Murray was superb off the line moving right up to second during the early part of the opening lap. However contact from Pepe Massot left Murray down in tenth with a lot of work to do. Cars off at Paddock Hill brought out the safety car, which allowed Murray to close up on the lead pack, but unfortunately the safety car came in with one lap to go. Murray managed to work his way up the order and crossed the finish line a rewarding fifth thanks to his recovery drive.
Speaking after the race, a naturally disappointed Niall reflected on his weekend, “naturally I’m really disappointed to have had a bad race two. Yesterday’s win was fantastic and just what we all needed, but sadly today’s poor result has lost us second in the championship. But as they say, that’s motorsport! Well done to Charlie & Sennan, it was a though battle all season, just the way it should be. I am however delighted that my fantastic team Douglas Motorsport has won the Ginetta Junior Teams Championship thanks to the efforts of myself and my teammate Andrew Watson. That is a deserving reward for the tireless efforts they have put into everything this season. My sponsors without whom I wouldn’t have even been here today! Murray Motorsport, Kennett and P1 Digital.”