Rounds three and four of the Italian Clio Cup at Imola, this weekend, proved to be a tough test for Irish driver Eoin Murray. Driving for the Monolite Racing team Murray had a difficult start to the weekend when he struggled with a brake problem in Free Practice 1 and only completed three laps. Despite the setbacks Murray managed to Qualify for the first race, of the double header weekend, in a respectable fourth position.
A drive-through penalty for a rare jump start in Race one dropped him from a challenging second position right to the back of the field. A spirited fight back saw him recover to 16th position at the end. This determined his starting position for race two. Afterwards a contrite Murray commented. “The jump start was totally my mistake, I was so focused on a good start that I went slightly too soon. This was the first time in my career that I jumped the start of a race and I am determined it will be my last. Afterwards I apologised to my team.”
Race two was about salvaging some championship points. Eoin climbed from 16th position to 9th in the opening lap. He gradually picked off driver after driver until the last lap where he was challenging Arcarase, the Romanian driver, for second position. An over-ambitious move from fourth place driver Salvador Tavano at Rivaza 1 (the last sequence of corners) saw him take out Murray and his own team mate, Arcarase. Murray managed to nurse his car out of the gravel trap and rejoin the race coming home in a very credible fifth place.
“I was determined to put in a strong performance after race one and despite being punted off on the last lap I am satisfied to have managed to salvage some championship points’’.
Next weekend sees Eoin and his Monolite Racing team head to Spa- Francorchamps for the first round of the European Clio series as part of the Renault World Series. Eoin last raced at the historic Spa Circuit, while competing in the European Alfa Romeo series, in 2005 and really cemented his championship position there with a very strong performance. “An audience of approximately 50,000 people are expected to flock to the world famous circuit this weekend and I am really looking forward to racing on this fantastic track again.”