Niall Murray continued his excellent end to the 2011 Ginetta Junior Championship with double podium success at Silverstone, a second place in Round Nineteen being followed up by his second win of the season in Round Twenty.
Murray headed into the weekend in positive mood after double podium success at both Rockingham and Brands Hatch, the latter seeing the Irishman pick up his maiden series win. Murray's Silverstone weekend started well, with his Beacon Racing-prepared Ginetta G40J being right on the pace in Friday testing.
Murray said: “This weekend all I wanted was the win. This was the only track that I'd previously tested on, whereas all the others the Friday testing was the first time I'd seen them. This weekend I'd had some testing done, so I was only a couple of tenths off the quickest in free practice one and a few thousandths in free practice two. I knew then I had the pace to be front row in qualifying.”
2010 Ginetta Junior Ireland champion Murray stuck his car second on the grid for both races in qualifying. Getting into the lead early on in race one, Murray had 2011 champion Seb Morris behind him. A tricky battle came to a head on the penultimate lap when contact from Morris sent them both wide, allowing Sennan Fielding through to win, with Murray getting back on to take second.
The second race saw Murray once again get into the lead, with Morris once again behind him. The duo traded the lead almost every lap, with both drivers determined to end the year with the final win. Murray eventually prevailed to take his second win of the year, the Dubliner ending his year in tremendous style with six consecutive podiums, making it eight in total, to take fourth in the championship standings.
Murray commented: “I got two front rows in qualifying, only a tenth off. The first race I very nearly won, but Seb [Morris] did one of his moves on me and put me off, but I got back on and finished second ahead of him at least. Then the second race, I got into the lead and Seb was right behind me. I knew there would be a bit of contact, so I didn't make it hard for him to pass, then followed him as I knew he wouldn't get away. I got past him a couple of times and didn't touch him at all during the race, though he touched me a fair few times. I ended up on top and am absolutely delighted.
“Coming into the year, I didn't think I'd be able to get so many podiums and I didn't really think I'd be able to get a race win either. I aimed for top five if I consistent throughout the year, so fourth in the championship, I'm absolutely delighted. And two race wins, it's more than I could have asked for.”