Race by race: How Murray, Malvern and co made it through to the Festival final
Chaos at Druids on the first lap, triggered by a move from Joey Foster on Chase Owen and Parker Thompson, paved the way for Stuart Gough to take a comfortable win in the opening heat – the Van Diemen DP08 driver saying he was driving at “about 80 per cent commitment”. Andy Charsley and Noel Robinson completed the podium.
Niall Murray was unstoppable in heat two, holding off Luke Williams and Oliver Askew throughout. No safety cars during the race ensured a semi-final pole for Murray.
Scott Malvern jumped polesitter Luke Cooper at the start of heat three and went on to take a narrow victory. Scottish champion Neil Maclennan claimed the final podium spot after passing Jake Byrne early on.
Semi-final one was a Murray benefit, with him winning by four seconds. The race featured a collision at Paddock, triggered by Tom Mcarthur tangling with Murray’s brother Eoin which, in turn, sent Matt Cowley and Miles Johnston into retirement. Askew nabbed second at Clearways at twothirds distance after Gough made a mistake at Graham Hill Bend.
The second semi was a real battle. After Charsley and Thompson were eliminated following another Druids altercation, there was a thrilling battle for the lead between Malvern and Williams. Malvern eventually sealed it with an outstanding move around the outside of Paddock. Williams also lost out to Patrik Pasma in the closing stages.
Alan Davidson won the last chance race after a strong opening lap, but the main focus of attention was the progress of Maclennan from the back. In the end he just missed out on a final spot by finishing seventh.