Eoin Murray took an emphatic win in race three at Jerez yesterday. This result means the championship battle will go to the wire at Barcelona in a fortnight. Eoin will fight for the title with Spanish drivers Marc Carol and Oscar Nogues.
The weekend was not made easy for Murray and his team Oasis Motorsport when he was put back to 11th position on the grid after his 6th fastest qualifying time was disallowed for setting it during a yellow flag zone. From 11th position Murray crossed the line in 7th at the finish of race 1 and as a result started in that position for race 2. A solid start saw Murray pass the championship leader Carol and move to fifth position at the midway stage in the 7 lap sprint race. Knowing that this position would give him a front row start for the feature race (top 6 positions reversed) and with both drivers ahead not registered for championship points it was the perfect result.
The pressure was on for the Sunday morning sprint race as Murray knew he had to win to keep his championship hopes alive. Murray did not disappoint as he passed Carol at the second corner and continued to open a comfortable gap crossing the line 4.8 seconds ahead of Carol & Nogues and claiming fastest lap in the processes.
Eoin commented after the race: “We were a little bit on the back foot after problems in practice and then the penalty after qualifying made matters worse. However I didn’t panic at any point and I was confident we could turn the situation around. I knew I had to win Sunday’s race and it was also important to try and get the point for fastest lap. Everything worked out as planned and my team gave me the fastest car today which I thing we proved with such a comfortable win”.
Murray collected 33 points over the weekend but unfortunately both his championship protagonists also picked up a lot of points. On dropped scores Eoin is 5 points behind Nogues for second and 22 points behind the leader Marc Carol. Murray now moves ahead of newly crowned European champion Norbert Michelisz (Hungarian driver) and has a 12 point advantage going into the final round.
Eoin comments about his title hopes at Barcelona: “At this stage to win it is a long shot, Carol has been very consistent and we need him to slip up to have a chance. But if he does not finish race 1 it means he cannot start race 2 and he must start at the back of the grid for race 3 so things can always turn around very quickly in this championship. I will not be giving up until the chequered flag drops in race three!”
Eoin’s next race is 30th October/1st November at circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.