BRSCC Festival News

Festival Semi Final 1: Murray takes honours, Cooper fast-tracks to final

Niall Murray / Josh Smith - Van Diemen - 2018 Formula Ford Festival - Semi-Final 1 - Brands Hatch

National Formula Ford champion Niall Murray won the first semi-final of the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch, with Michael Eastwell eliminated and Luke Cooper charging from the rear.

Polesitter Murray made a good start from pole position – awarded from winning the fastest heat, and resisted all pressure from behind to book his place in the final late on Sunday.

The majority of the pressure came from Kevin Mills Racing’s Michael Eastwell, who challenged Murray for most of the 15-lap contest, while also resisting pressure from Neil Maclennan and Josh Smith behind him throughout.

However, with just three laps remaining, Eastwell came to a halt coming out of Clearways, bringing his Festival provisionally to an end.

This gave second place to Smith, and the final podium spot to Eastwell’s new KMR team-mate Maclennan. He had dropped back towards the end of the race, narrowly edging fourth-placed Joey Foster.

Foster dropped back fairly early on, before making is way back up through the pack, passing Team USA Scholarship’s Colin Mullan and Team Canada Scholarship’s Guillaume Archambault.

Further back, Luke Cooper had started 29th after his engine troubles on Saturday and was able to climb back to 12th place, clinching the final direct progression place to the Final.

His Swift Cooper team-mate Max Marzorati narrowly missed out on a guaranteed final place behind in 13th, but will start at the front for the last-chance shootout.

Pos Class Driver Car Gap
1 P89 Niall Murray Van Diemen 12m53.460
2 P89 Josh Smith Van Diemen +1.646
3 P89 Neil Maclennan Ray +4.621
4 P89 Joey Foaster Firman +4.886
5 P89 Jake Craig Ray +4.983
6 P89 Colin Mullan Ray +5.221
7 P89 Guillaume Archambault Ray +5.380
8 P89 Ivor McCullough Van Diemen +13.898
9 P89 Geoffroy Horion Van Diemen +15.500
10 P89 Stuart Gough Van Diemen +15.882
11 P89 Abdul Ahmed Ray +15.909
12 P89 Luke Cooper Swift +16.048
13 P89 Max Marzorati Swift +17.813
14 P89 Michael Macpherson Ray +18.954
15 P89 John Svensson Van Diemen +21.552

Craig Woollard is a motorsport journalist who works full-time in the Motorsport Images archive. He shares strong opinions on a wide range of subjects within the sport, while also making use of statistical analysis. His other interests include food, hot drinks, sim racing, music and gaming.

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