Eoin Murray


1st August 2006 // Murray praised by BTCC boss after mixing it with top guns in Donington



Eoin Murray made a big impression on the Dunlop British Touring Car Championship over the weekend with Series` boss Alan Gow describing the young Irishman as a revelation. Gow also said Eoin had made an immediate impact and it`s very exciting to see a young driver of this calibre using the BTCC to make his career in motorsport.

Making only his second appearance in the BTCC, the 23-year-old showed the pace which saw him mix it with the championship`s top contenders in his Argus Car Hire.com Alfa Romeo 156. Running as high as third place at the Derby circuit, the two times Motorsport Ireland `Young Racing Driver of the Year` recorded a top 6 in Round 17 of the high profile Series.

Despite still carrying 30kgs of the ballast imposed on newcomers joining the series during the season, Eoin qualified on the fifth row of the grid for Race 1 alongside the works Seat of main championship contender Jason Plato.

Making a good start, the current European Alfa Challenge Champion made up three places on the opening lap passing both the works Seats. By lap five Eoin was up to fifth having passed the works Vauxhall of Gavin Smith, however, contact on lap six broke the front anti roll bar on the Quest Racing run Alfa Romeo. Struggling with the cars handling, Eoin dropped down the order to eventually cross the line in 13th position. He took some consolation from the fact that he set the third fastest lap of the race.

Starting Race 2 in the position he finished Race 1, Murray once again made a strong start and was up into 10th position by the end of lap 1. On lap 7 he was promoted to 5th following an incident which brought out the safety car for 3 laps. Holding the position for nine laps, Eoin wisely conceded the placing to the faster Honda of reigning Champion Matt Neal but still managed to finish a superb sixth.

Lining up fourth for Race 3 following the grid draw that saw the top 9 positions reversed, Eoin made yet another strong start. At the end of lap 1 his Alfa Romeo was running in third between Neal and the works Vauxhall of multiple European Touring Car Champion Fabrizio Giovanardi. With rain clouds descending on Donington Park Eoin`s impressive run came to a high speed end when he was caught out by a damp track at the Craner Curves on lap six which sent him spinning off into the gravel ending his race. The conditions would catch out a number of drivers including championship leader Neal. Walking backed to the pits Eoin received huge applause from the large crowd who were appreciative of the promising youngsters valiant efforts against the bigger teams.

`Overall I am really delighted with how the weekend has gone, for sure I am a little disappointed with race 3. We had been improving the car all weekend and in the 3rd race it felt really good. I was keeping a consistent gap to Fabrizio. I could see a great opportunity for a podium until the rain started to come. I was cautious into craners but not cautious enough! We showed what we can do even with extra 30kgs ballast. I have to thank my team Quest they are doing a fantastic job.`

Supported by ArgusCarHire.com and Reynolds Logistics, Eoin will be looking to build on his Donington Park performances when the British Touring Car Championship moves to Snetteron in two weeks time (13 August).

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