Niall Murray took his second lights-to-flag victory of the Avon Tyres National Formula Ford 1600 Championship weekend at Brands Hatch.
In a race twice affected by the safety car, championship leader Murray once again controlled proceedings in his Team Dolan Van Diemen to secure victory by 0.7 seconds ahead of Joey Foster’s Ray and Kevin Mills Racing Spectrum driver Michael Eastwell.
The top three had a relatively static race, with most of the frantic action happening behind them.
Fourth-place finisher Matt Round-Garrido (Medina Sport) took advantage of Josh Smith (Oldfield Motorsport Van Diemen) and KMR’s Michael Moyers running wide at Paddock Hill Bend on lap nine.
Contact with the third KMR Spectrum of Hugo Bentley-Ellis on the exit of Druids then put Smith out of the race, with the safety car was called for the second time. On the three-minute restart Moyers was able to hold onto fifth ahead of Jamie Thorburn (Cliff Dempsey Racing Ray) and Bentley-Ellis.
After his retirement yesterday, Neil Maclennan stormed from the back of the grid to eighth aboard his Cliff Dempsey Racing Ray, after a good battle with Austrian team-mate Nico Gruber in the process.
The battle for tenth was a busy one, with Jonathan Browne coming out on top ahead of Rory Smith in their Ray and Medina respectively. Sebastian Melrose and American driver Carter Williams had also been in the thick of that scrap before coming together at Graham Hill Bend in the closing stages.
In 16th overall, Vincent Jay (Ray) took the Clubman Post ‘89 victory ahead of John Svensson’s Van Diemen and the Swift of Daniel O’Beirne.
It was another nightmare race for Luke Cooper, who started at the back after his troubles in race one but didn’t get much further after contact with Pascal Monbaron at Graham Hill Bend. Monbaron’s stranded car brought out the first safety car.
There were also problems for series returnee Chris Middlehurst, who slowed and pulled his Van Diemen off into retirement on lap five.
The third and final race of the weekend, with a top-eight reverse grid, gets underway at 14.30 this afternoon.
|1||Pro||Niall Murray||Van Diemen||19 laps|
|4||Pro||Matt Round-Garrido||Medina Sport||+3.836|
|16||Pro||Sebastian Job||Van Diemen||+12.970|
|18||CM89||John Svensson||Van Diemen||+15.437|
|22||Pro||Davide Meloni||Van Diemen||+20.287|
|24||CM89||Henry Chart||Van Diemen||+27.773|
|DNF||Pro||Joshua Smith||Van Diemen|
|DNF||Pro||Chris Middlehurst||Van Diemen|
|DNF||Pro||Pascal Monbaron||Van Diemen|
|Fastest lap: Eastwell, 50.844|
|1 Murray 214 2 Round-Garrido 155 3 Foster 140 4 Thorburn 139 5 Eastwell 137 6 Cooper 133 7 Maclennan 97 8 Gruber 93 9 Moyers 93 10 R Smith 83|
|1 Morris 206 2 Jay 182 3 O’Beirne 104 4 John Ferguson 94 5 John Svensson 65 6 Street 52 7 George McDonald 28 8 Chart 24|