Belfast Telegraph

Festival delight for Robinson and Davidson

 

By Sammy Hamill

Ulster drivers brought home two top prizes from the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch but missed out on the main award.

Noel Robinson and Alan Davidson, both former Northern Ireland champions at Kirkistown, scored victories in the Masters and Historic categories.

Portadown man Robinson only made a last-minute decision to enter the Masters section on Sunday after a loose plug lead on his Van Diemen saw him fail to progress from his heat in the main category.

Despite starting on the seventh row of the grid, Robinson charged through the field, took the lead just after half-distance and went on to win ahead of the Van Diemens of Tom McArthur and fellow Ulsterman Ivor McCullough, who had also missed out in the heats with a gearbox issue.

McArthur also lost out in the Historic category, where Davidson took the victory in his Mondiale.

But Niall Murray couldn't repeat his 2017 success in the main Festival event despite winning both his heat and his semi-final.

In a crash-bang final, which saw two red flag incidents and two restarts, Dubliner Murray, the reigning British champion, was involved in a three-way fight for the lead all the way to the finish line.

Murray led for most of the way from pole position in his Van Diemen but was being constantly harried by Josh Smith and Ollie White.

On the final lap, Murray blocked an attempt by Smith to pass on the inside of Paddock Bend, which let White have a run on the pair of them into Druids.

White and Murray both locked up and ran wide at the hairpin, Smith passing both on the inside.

He was able to hold on and beat Murray to the chequered flag by less than a 10th of a second, with White completing the podium.

Belfast Telegraph

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