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.
|1||P89||Niall Murray||Van Diemen||12m53.460|
|2||P89||Josh Smith||Van Diemen||+1.646|
|8||P89||Ivor McCullough||Van Diemen||+13.898|
|9||P89||Geoffroy Horion||Van Diemen||+15.500|
|10||P89||Stuart Gough||Van Diemen||+15.882|
|15||P89||John Svensson||Van Diemen||+21.552|