Eoin Murray says three top six finishes in his Quest Racing Alfa Romeo at Thruxton on Sunday are realistic targets even if results so far this season haven’t yet gone his way.
The 24-year-old Irishman believes his Alfa 156’s sleek aerodynamics and handling abilities through quick corners will enable him to show strongly at the high-speed Hampshire circuit.
He’s already proved rapid, in practice at Brands Hatch before a shunt prematurely ended his weekend, and at Rockingham where he qualified an excellent fifth fastest overall.
But the Dubliner told BTCC.net: “Finishing only one race out of the first six isn’t quite what I’d had in mind. To not be able to start the three races at Brands was a big blow and then to retire from two of the races at Rockingham was very frustrating
“Finishing ninth and getting a few points in the first Rockingham race was OK, but after qualifying fifth I’d been hoping for a lot better than that. Even in that race I had damage to the steering after another car hit me.
“Thruxton I think will be stronger for us than any of those circuits. It will suit the Alfa’s engine, aerodynamics and handling and I love driving the circuit.
“I’d like to get three top six finishes at Thruxton. It’s a tall order but if we get the car’s set-up to work for the whole race distance then that’s possible. I was struggling for grip in the second half of the first race at Rockingham, but we think we’ve solved that now.
“Qualifying well is always important and I might be at a disadvantage as I don’t have a team-mate to give me a tow from Church up the hill into the chicane. You’ll see the two-car teams trying that whereas when you’re on your own it requires a bit of luck to end up in someone’s slipstream. It’s going to be a very interesting three races, really close.”
Murray is one of a number of young drivers beginning to make their mark on the BTCC having graduated to the series in the past 12 months – recent newcomers Mat Jackson and Tom Onslow-Cole have already tasted the podium champagne this season, while Adam Jones and Matt Allison have also achieved decent points hauls.
Murray added: “I know that out of the young drivers coming through I’m the most under-funded and getting here has been tough, winning the one-make Alfa series in Europe and with it, fortunately, the 156 touring car. I genuinely feel I’ve earned my right to be on the grid.”