After a very promising introduction to the BTCC midway through 2006 expectations were extremely high for Murray’s first full BTCC campaign. However the 2007 season will not go down as a highlight in the career of Dublin based driver Eoin Murray. Following a difficult opening to the season Eoin had to endure a series of mechanical problems and with three sprint races in the one day sometimes it was impossible for Murray’s small Quest team to prepare the car for each race with such small resources available.
The arguscarhire.com backed driver knew he had a difficult task ahead running in a small single car team without a team mate and with no testing programme throughout the year. The car had been competitive in the World championship but need major testing and probably some new suspension components designed to make the Alfa Romeo 156 work on the Dunlop tyre used in the BTCC.
Eoin showed flashes of brilliance and was sometimes able to run with the works teams and this makes the minor mechanical difficulties more frustrating. His performance at Snetterton caught people’s attention. After an engine mount failure in race 1 he had to start from 20th position for race 2. Eoin fought through the field and finished an excellent 7th position setting fastest independents time along the way. This showed that the Alfa, which Eoin won as his prize for winning the 2005 European Alfa Romeo Championship, could still be competitive on some tracks.
The issue for Murray in 2007 was basically one of Budget. Despite strong support from his major sponsors and a number of prominent individuals in the Irish Motorsport community there simply was not enough budget available to provide the necessary development and testing for the car. Competing against works teams and even some independent teams with multimillion pound budgets was an impossible task for Eoin.
A philosophical Murray commenting on his season said "the season was a disappointment to me as I knew I had the pace and continued to work hard despite the setbacks. I am very grateful to my sponsors, arguscarhire.com & Reynolds Logistics and the support I received from the Irish Motoracing community. I am already working towards having a competitive package for 2008."
The BTCC is now a very strong series and one which has attracted the very top calibre of drivers. Eoin will be working to line up again in 2008 but with a full budget to compete competitively. Eoin came in for some very favourable comment from series organiser Alan Gow and some of the top works teams. Do not be surprised if you hear of him testing with a works team soon.