Niall Murray enjoyed his first experience of the unique Knockhill circuit last weekend during Rounds Thirteen and Fourteen of the 2011 Ginetta Junior Championship, the reigning Ginetta Junior Ireland champion coming away from Scotland with two solid top six finishes after challenging for podiums in both encounters.
After a difficult free practice session, the Beacon Racing driver upped his game in qualifying and set the seventh fastest time in a very close session. This gave him a good platform to challenge for a podium in the opening race and a good opening few laps put him into the top five on lap three, before he benefited from two drivers making mistakes ahead to move into third.
Murray began catching second place when a safety car period bunched the field back together. This allowed a recovering rival behind to force his way through into third, with Niall squeezed out wide through the gravel, dropping him to seventh, before he fought back one place on the final lap to finish an eventful race sixth.
Another strong start in the second race saw him up from eighth to fifth at the end of the opening lap, before capitalising from a mistake by the championship leader to slip into fourth. A drive through penalty for a rival then a great move by Dubliner Murray saw him move into a great second place, but a mistake at the chicane saw him drop back to sixth.
After a short safety car period, Murray produced another superb recovery drive to get back into third place, but struggling for pace towards the end, he was just pipped for third, settling for fourth place at the finish.
Murray commented: “Naturally I'm gutted to have not gotten at least one podium finish this weekend, the fact I was in a podium position during both races. However, I was happy with my pace and was mixing it with the leaders in both races, despite starting down the grid.”