Niall Murray was once again the star of the show during the latest rounds of the Ginetta Junior Championship at Brands Hatch, the Irishman taking his first ever series victory as he extended his run to four consecutive podium finishes.
After double podium success two weeks ago at Rockingham, Murray headed to Kent aiming to finally pick up a first series win. A mixed qualifying session saw Murray struggle early on before a red flag split the session. This left Murray with lots to do afterwards and a great lap saw him destined for the front row, however he was deemed to exceeded track limits, meaning his next time left him tenth on the grid.
A good opening lap in the opening race saw him up to fifth, before he benefitted from contact ahead to move into third. A great pass around the outside of Tom Howard at Hawthorns put Murray into second and he soon passed Jake Giddings for the lead at Druids. However contact between the two sent Murray wide and back into third, but the Dubliner fought back and took the lead again on the next lap.
A slight mistake dropped Murray behind the newly crowned series champion Seb Morris and as he tried to fight back at Druids, Morris forced him onto the grass, resulting in Murray spinning his Beacon Racing-prepared G40J. Able to get going again, Murray finished the race in second place and instantly sent an appeal into the stewards. Following a meeting with race officials, Morris was handed a three second penalty, promoting Murray into a well-deserved maiden win.
Murray's qualifying woes left him last on the grid for the final race, but this didn't deter him. Another superb start saw him up to eighth and after a couple of laps stuck behind championship rival Max Coates, Niall was able to continue his progress up the field. Benefitting from two rivals spinning ahead, Murray was up to third on lap seven and challenging for second, however he was unable to snatch the place. Third was still enough for Murray to take his fourth consecutive podium and sixth of the season.
A delighted Murray said: “This has been the best weekend of my racing career. I'm very confident that with even one more lap I could have won the second race! However I am delighted to have taken my first victory this weekend and to come from the back in race two, I was hoping for a top five at best, so to get third and challenge for the lead was just brilliant.
“We're now lying a very strong fourth in the championship with a mathematical chance of third, which would just be amazing in only my first season! I've got to say a massive word of thanks to my sponsors Murray Motorsport, Ginetta, and my team Beacon Racing for giving me a fantastic car this weekend. Roll on Silverstone!”