Rapid Murray impresses in SEAT Supercup Ireland debut
Last weekend, former Dunlop Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year Niall Murray made an impressive debut in the SEAT Supercup Ireland series at Mondello Park.
Returning to family squad Murray Motorsport, Niall was faced with a huge challenge to take on the SEAT Leon Supercopa, a car with almost twice the brake horse power he has normally been used to in this motorsport career to date.
Murray set the tone during pre-event testing, and despite running on older Yokohama tyres, was matching the series leaders pace. Niall carried his speed into qualifying, placing himself on pole position for Sunday’s opening race.
Reputed to be a difficult car off the line, Murray was confident that during pre-event testing, he had somewhat mastered the art of a solid get away. Unfortunately for the Dubliner it just wasn’t to be as he struggled to move away from pole position in race one, a glitch in the car’s ECU selecting neutral instead of second gear at the start. Now at the back of the pack, a determined Murray set a sequence of fastest laps to move up the order into third place at the finish line.
The reverse grid format placed Niall fifth on the grid for the second and final race of the day. Despite some slight wheel spin off the line, Murray had clearly overcome his earlier problems with getting his CL Brakes supported SEAT Leon off the line. During the middle part of the race, Murray had worked his way up to third and was starting to reel in the leaders. However Murray’s race was set to suffer a blow on the fifth lap, picking up some damage to his front left wheel severly effecting the tracking of his car. Now struggling for front-end grip particularly under braking, Murray was feeling the advances of Niall Quinn and John Farrelly from behind. Running slightly wide on the final lap, Quinn slipped up the inside to knock Murray back to fourth just as they crossed the finish line.