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Paddy Hogan Paul Ricard test summary

They say that young ambitious racing drivers should experience a diversity of cars on different circuits as they climb the ladder of experience. Paddy Hogan (22) the Dublin racing driver has been doing just that in recent months, and with an...

They say that young ambitious racing drivers should experience a diversity of cars on different circuits as they climb the ladder of experience. Paddy Hogan (22) the Dublin racing driver has been doing just that in recent months, and with an amount of success.

Last month Hogan tied for the UK two-litre Formula Renault championship, scoring six outright victories, during a tough yet successful season. Earlier he successfully tested the 500bhp Team Ireland A1 GP car at Silverstone, setting better times than the team's number one driver. He was at the Mondello Park National circuit earlier this month, with two other drivers, competing for the Dunlop Young Driver of the Year, and the Sexton Trophy scholarship. Last week he drove at the Paul Ricard track in the south of France.

The Mondello test was taken in 1.3 and 1.5 Radical Sportscars, an experience Hogan very much enjoyed, while last week at the state-of-the-art Paul Ricard test facility he drove the 425bhp Formula Renault 3.5 World Series car against drivers from many parts of the world.

Paddy Hogan was invited to Paul Ricard along with Sebastien Hohenthal, the Swedish driver he tied with in Britain's Formula Renault. Hogan was run by Carlin Motorsport and after the first run over the 2.4 mile track, on used tyres, the Irishman was best rookie with a time of 1min 18.4s and 1.4 seconds quicker than Hohenthal.

All drivers were given several runs on used tyres and when the Killiney driver went out on new tyres he reduced his lap time to 1min. 17.495s (111.49mph) which ranked him ninth overall and the best rookie, just 0.096s behind world series regular and Renault backed driver Ben Hanley. The Swede Hohenthal was over 0.7 seconds slower than the Irish driver.

"I felt lucky to be able to drive at a venue such as Paul Ricard and I'd love to go back in the future. The World Renault car is fantastic and so much fun -- the amount of grip at high speed is unbelievable. One corner on the circuit was taken flat out in sixth gear, even on old tyres, and it was a great feeling. The experience has really whetted my appetite for more and I'd certainly love to drive the car again if I get the chance," said the Dubliner.

Paddy Hogan's next date with destiny is December 5 when the winner of the prestigious Dunlop/Irish Sports Council scholarship will be announced at a Motorsport Ireland function in Dublin. That could have a major bearing on where Hogan will race next season.

-credit: ph

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