DOWN TO BUSINESS FOR STOREY THIS WEEKEND More than two months after travelling half-way across the world to pursue his dream, 19-year old New Zealand race driver Dominic Storey begins his first full European single seater championship this...
DOWN TO BUSINESS FOR STOREY THIS WEEKEND
More than two months after travelling half-way across the world to pursue his dream, 19-year old New Zealand race driver Dominic Storey begins his first full European single seater championship this coming weekend, at the first round of the Formula Renault West European Cup (WEC) in Nogaro, France.
Speaking from his English base in Milton-Keynes, Storey expresses his excitement to 'finally get underway' after weeks of intense test time across many of Europe's most revered race circuits, including Spa-Francorchamps, Barcelona and the famous Le Mans.
Driving for successful French outfit SG Formula, based in the French city of La-Rochelle, Storey announced himself satisfied with his pace in pre-season testing, which concluded with two days of official practice at Nogaro this week (Tuesday and Wednesday) where he finished both days within the top five.
This weekend's opening round of the Formula Renault WEC also serves as a prequel to the first event of the Formula Renault Eurocup at Barcelona, Spain next weekend.
The Formula Renault Eurocup is regarded as Europe's most competitive breeding ground for future Formula One drivers, with fields well in excess of thirty cars and a number of drivers already in Formula One junior development programmes moving forward.
Only two years ago, fellow kiwi Brendon Hartley took overall honours in the Eurocup championship and is now the third driver for the Red Bull Formula One team.
It now seems a long time since Storey ventured across to Europe last year to take part in testing at the Val de Vienne and Magny-Cours circuits, where he caught the eye of SG Formula team owner Stephane Guerin and was signed immediately for a full European campaign in 2009.
For Storey, lining up on the grid this weekend is a testament to the hard work he, his family and his management have put in since the young Aucklander won the Formula BMW Asia Scholarship in 2006, and competed in New Zealand's premier single seater category, the Toyota Racing Series, in 2007/08.
The 2009 dual Formula Renault championships are Storey's first stepping stone on the path to Formula One, with the Formula 3 Euro Series a possibility for 2010 if the results and development of Dominic as a driver warrant the next step.
But for now, Storey's focus is on being fast and competitive at Nogaro this weekend. The Formula Renault WEC has 18 entries for the event, with two races of 25-minutes each across the weekend.
Quotes | Dominic Storey
"Round one has already begun for us with testing over the last two days, and I'm really happy with the progress that we've made with the car and learning the circuit.
"I'm looking forward to racing again -- it's been over a year -- and we're in a good position to fight for a podium this weekend.
"A good result at Nogaro will set us up nicely for Barcelona and Eurocup round one next weekend."