BRSCC National News

Murray takes second straight pole in super close Kirkistown qualifying

Niall Murray took a second consecutive pole in the BRSCC Avon Tyres National Formula Ford 1600 Championship on his return to the Kirkistown track.

Murray, the reigning Northern Ireland FF1600 champion, put in a late lap to go top in his Team Dolan Van Diemen RF99 by just 0.004 seconds over Swift Cooper’s Luke Cooper.

“I’m extremely pleased with my pole position,” Murray said.

“I started my run later than the rest of the field to gain as much clear running as I could.

“The car is working great and thanks to the guys for making my job a little easier.”

Car racing rookie Hugo Bentley-Ellis put in another extremely impressive performance for Kevin Mills Racing to go third fastest, sharing the second row of the grid with Irish motorsport talent, National FF1600 returnee and Chinese Formula 4 regular Jordan Dempsey.

Cliff Dempsey Racing filled the third row with Jamie Thorburn and Nico Gruber, Gruber denying KMR’s Michael Eastwell sixth by one thousandth of a second.

Carter Williams defied his inexperience to outqualify Don Hardman Racing team-mate Joey Foster for eighth, with Rory Smith completing the top 10.

Murray’s Team Dolan team-mate Matt Round-Garrido, who is currently leading the Kirkistown-based Northern Ireland FF1600 championship, had a disappointing session and could only manage 11th. Jack Wolfenden was not present in the third Team Dolan car due to other commitments.

CDR duo Neil Maclennan and Jonathan Browne also struggled, qualifying 12th and 13th.

Round-Garrido’s Northern Ireland FF1600 title rival Alan Davidson took pole in the Clubman Pre-’90 class in 14th, outqualifying several Pro and all the Clubman Post-’89 drivers in the process in his Mondiale M89S.

Vincent Jay upheld Clubman Post-’89 honour in 17th place in his Ray GR10.

Qualifying results

Pos Class Driver Car Gap
1 Pro Niall Murray Van Diemen 1:00.769
2 Pro Luke Cooper Swift +0.004
3 Pro Hugo Bentley-Ellis Spectrum +0.163
4 Pro Jordan Dempsey Van Diemen +0.206
5 Pro Jamie Thorburn Ray +0.261
6 Pro Nico Gruber Ray +0.303
7 Pro Michael Eastwell Spectrum +0.304
8 Pro Carter Williams Ray +0.417
9 Pro Joey Foster Ray +0.427
10 Pro Rory Smith Medina +0.573
11 Pro Matt Round-Garrido Medina Sport +0.670
12 Pro Neil Maclennan Ray +0.752
13 Pro Jonathan Browne Ray +0.829
14 CM90 Alan Davidson Mondiale +0.920
15 Pro Sebastian Job Van Diemen +0.950
16 Pro David McArthur Van Diemen +1.189
17 CM89 Vincent Jay Ray +2.162
18 CM90 Nicky Gibson Crossle +2.892
19 CM90 Ashley McCulla Mondiale +2.994
20 CM90 Ian McCulla Reynard +3.586
21 CM90 Jim Campbell Mondiale +4.308
22 CM89 John Ferguson Spectrum no time

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