Home Formula FordFFord Festival Niall Murray leads Team Dolan 1-2 in FFord Festival semi-final two

Niall Murray leads Team Dolan 1-2 in FFord Festival semi-final two

by Ida Wood

Photo: Wayne Pearson

Niall Murray led a Team Dolan one-two in the second Formula Ford Festival semi-final; a race that had to be restarted after a chaotic beginning.

Category returnee Murray led comfortably from pole for the first lap, but faced red flags on the next tour after Peter Lucas span at Paddock Hill Bend and was collected by Steve Barlow.

David McCullough was also involved, and the resulting clean-up required the race to be stopped.

As less than two laps had been completed, the original grid was used and nullified strong starts from the likes of Rory Smith and Peter Dempsey.

In the restarted encounter, Murray and team-mate Chris Middlehurst once again pulled away, with only a safety car intervention putting their control of the race under threat.

Dempsey had tried passing Smith around the outside of Paddock Hill Bend for third, and tried again at Druids. Cliff Dempsey Racing driver Dempsey ended up going off track, which put defending Festival winner Joshua Smith off too, while B-M Racing’s Rory Smith retired.

This promoted Luke Cooper to third place for the last few laps of racing, with Dempsey leading CDR team-mates and Team USA scholars Scott Huffaker and Josh Green.

Dempsey tried attacking Cooper but instead fell behind Huffaker, and it took several laps for him to reclaim the position. Green, who locked up on the main straight to avoid hitting Rory Smith early on, came home behind them in sixth.

Ciaran Haggerty took seventh after dueling with Jamie Sharp, who ended up being shuffled down to 22nd during their heated battle and recovered to 17th.

Joshua Smith made his own recovery to 14th, helped by some chaos when the safety car came out, but will have to contest the Last Chance Race to reach the Final having failed to finish in the top 12.


Race results (12 laps)
Pos Name Team Time
1 Niall Murray Team Dolan 12m32.208s
2 Chris Middlehurst Team Dolan +0.893s
3 Luke Cooper Swift Cooper +0.940s
4 Peter Dempsey Cliff Dempsey Racing +2.915s
5 Scott Huffaker Cliff Dempsey Racing +3.194s
6 Josh Green Cliff Dempsey Racing +3.689s
7 Ciaran Haggerty Graham Brunton Racing +6.898s
8 Matt Rivett +7.387s
9 Noel Robinson +7.689s
10 Zachary Vanier Cliff Dempsey Racing +9.241s
11 Adam Higgins +10.462s
12 Pascal Monbaron John’s Racing Team +12.685s
13 Tom Hawkins Springbridge Motorsport +13.065s
14 Joshua Smith Oldfield Motorsport +13.511s
15 Rick Morris Don Hardman Racing +14.827s
16 Jack Kemp Enigma Motorsport +15.725s
17 Jamie Sharp B-M Racing +16.523s
18 Richard Davison Souley Motorsport +18.278s
19 Adam Fathers Adam Fathers Racing +18.488s
20 Peter Hardman Snetterton Speedshop +19.312s
21 Mark Armstrong ferret +19.835s
22 Joe Walton Souley Motorsport +22.390s
23 Chris Stuart +26.120s
24 Laurie Hughes +32.566s
Ret Oliver Chapman OCI
Ret Philip Attwood
Ret Rory Smith B-M Racing
Ret Jason Down Getem Racing
Ret David McCullough Team DDR
Ret Steve Barlow Graham Brunton Racing
Ret Peter Lucas Souley Motorsport
Fastest lap: Dempsey, 50.681s