Avon Tyres BRSCC National FF1600 champion-elect Niall Murray will not return to Formula Ford after his planned appearance at next month’s FFord Festival, feeling he’s “done enough” in the series.
After wrapping up his second National title at Croft with one race meeting to spare, Murray has elected to skip the season finale at Donington Park.
He plans to return for the Festival at Brands Hatch a week after Donington, but suggested that will be his last FF1600 appearance in the foreseeable future – feeling he has nothing left to achieve in the category,
“I don’t think I’ll do Formula Ford again. I’ve done enough,” said Murray, who also won the 2016 National title.
“I’m ‘whatever’ about the possibility of maybe going back to the Festival and Walter Hayes. It’s always good to do but, probably not.”
Murray made two British GT appearances last year with Century Motorsport, fitting a single race in USF2000 at Watkins Glen in between. He later raced at the Walter Hayes Trophy before his National series comeback this season.
Winning the National title means Murray has a ticket to the Mazda Road to Indy Shootout, which offers a paid season in USF2000 to the winner. He also got a ticket in 2016 and ’17, and is undecided on whether to attend this year’s event, of which a date and location has yet to be set. Despite his eagerness to progress from FFord to a different challenge after this season, this means his next step remains unclear.
“It’s all about budget. If I had the money I could do whatever I wanted. The money that we have allows us to do Formula Ford and unfortunately not much else,” said Murray.
“Years ago you’d look for a sponsor and you’d get it fairly easily. Lots of Irish people were racing Formula 4 back home, telling me they had sponsors that gave them this, that and the other, which allowed them to go into Formula Ford and Formula 3.
“Nowadays it’s not like that. Everybody’s paying. You look around in the F4 grid, the F3 grid, every single driver is paying. Nobody is getting a free drive. Nobody is getting fully funded by sponsors. Everybody’s families are paying. It’s just the way it is. I’m old and bold enough to understand that.
“We’ll be looking at GTs, looking at everything but again, it’s still all about budget.”