Motorsport: Murray misses scholarship but won’t give up dreams

Dublin racing driver Niall Murray is determined to race in next season’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda Championship even though he lost out in his bid to win a $200,000 scholarship for the series.

Murray, who made it to the final six from the original panel of 18 for the Mazda Road to Indy Shootout at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca missed out as Oliver Askew grabbed the win, with Murray fifth.

Nevertheless the Dubliner has enjoyed a tremendous season, on board the Bernard Dolan Racing run Van Diemen RF99, he won 12 of his 16 races as he wrapped up the British National FF1600 title and all three of the world famous Blue-Riband Formula Ford 1600 Trophy races — the Martin Donnelly Trophy at Kirkistown, the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone. Ironically, in the Walter Hayes event Murray beat Askew.

New British Junior Rally Champion Killarney’s Rob Duggan is gearing up to contest six rounds of next season’s World Rally Championship as part of his winning prize for the DMACK backed series. The six rounds — Corsica, Portugal, Poland, Finland, Germany, and Spain — will also represent Duggan’s first foray in rallying outside of Ireland and Britain. Earlier this week he returned from a trip to the World Rally Team M-Sport’s base in Cumbria as part of a Sport Ireland initiative.

Duggan, was accompanied by his fellow Killarney co-driver Ger Conway along with Monaghan’s Josh Moffett, Omagh’s Patrick O’Brien and Boherbue’s John O’Sullivan were taken through the procedure of how a factory team prepares for a round of the WRC.

“It was good to see how a big team prepares, it’s amazing how the small touches make a difference,” said Duggan.

Meanwhile, having clinched the National Autocross Championship title several weeks ago Wexford’s Sean Cahill (Semog Buggy) will be hoping to edge closer to the O’Shea Bus Hire Munster Autocross Championship on Sunday’s penultimate round in Ryan’s Quarry, Rearcross, Co. Tipperary.

Cahill trails series leader Clonakilty’s Paul O’Driscoll (Semog Buggy) by seven points prior to the Limerick Motor Club event. However, with the best seven from nine rounds to count Cahill is favourite to complete a double.

O’Driscoll, who was third in the national series, needs a win on Sunday and also hope that Cahill has a poor finish so as to keep his (O’Driscoll’s) title hopes alive. The practice run begins at 9.45am with the first timed run at 11am.


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