Dan McMullen To Run In 2002 French National Formula Renault Championship Toronto, ON - It was officially announced today that Dan McMullen, from Gormley, Ontario, just outside of Toronto, has set his goals in motor sports a little higher when he...
Dan McMullen To Run In 2002 French National Formula Renault Championship
Toronto, ON - It was officially announced today that Dan McMullen, from Gormley, Ontario, just outside of Toronto, has set his goals in motor sports a little higher when he signed with HEXIS Racing to compete in the French National Formula Renault Championship for 2002, the signing of his first professional racing contract coming just one day after his 19th birthday.
Dan competed last year in the prestigious Elf la Filiere Racing series, based at the famed Le Mans Circuit in France. He had a very successful season including a win, the first for a Canadian driver in this series at the track at Val de Vienne. He also had two other podium finishes, ending the season in strong style with a second place at the Grand Prix track in Estoril, Portugal during the Renault Finals. Even though he missed five races during the season due to no fault of his own, two of which were because of travel restrictions surrounding the events of September 11, he still managed to finish in a credible tenth place overall for the season. Had it not been for the missed events, Dan could have easily been in the top five of the championship.
Dan's talents were definitely noticed by more than a few teams during the year and at seasons end he was invited to test with several teams in France as well as in North America. After weighing all of the options open to him, the Canadian Formula Ford Championship, the USF2000 series, the new Fran-Am series and Formula Renault, he decided that his best opportunity for success and to gain maximum exposure and experience would be to sign with the HEXIS Racing Team and return to Europe to run in the French Formula Renault series.
HEXIS Racing is a new team to the series this year but enter it with great ambitions for the future. Team owner Michel Mateu is committed to providing his three drivers with all of the best in equipment and support to ensure a successful maiden season of racing in one of the most competitive racing series in the world. Along with a new race shop in Ales, France, Michel has built a 2.2km test track where the drivers will be able to gain valuable seat time sorting the cars and honing their skills to gain a competitive edge throughout the long season that gets under way on March 30 at the Circuit Paul Armagnac in Nogaro.
Formula Renault has been a hotbed for young drivers worldwide making the step up the motor sports ladder recently with several of them moving directly into Formula One. It is a series that has drawn the attention of the top teams and press from around the world. Young Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen made the jump from Formula Renault in England to Formula One with the Sauber Petronas Team last year and has now signed with the West McLaren F1 Team. Ryan Briscoe, from Australia, has joined the new Toyota F1 team as a test driver after winning the Italian Formula Renault Championship last year. Dan's goals this year are to win the FFSA Formula Renault Junior Championship and to hopefully be near the top of the standings overall at seasons end. Team Manager Xavier Combet said recently, "With Dan's talents our goal for the first race at Nogaro is a top five finish. We are confident that he can take the team to the front of the grid." There is also a possibility of Dan contesting up to five rounds of the Formula Renault EuroCup Championship this year that do not conflict with the French Championship. This would all depend though on whether the necessary financing can be found to make this happen but his primary focus is on the National Championship. At seasons end, team principle Michel Mateu is hoping to arrange for a test in the new Renault Formula One car for Dan. This would definitely be a dream come true for this young driver!
Dan would like to thank everyone who has supported him in his effort to become a professional racecar driver: Discount Car Rentals-Scarborough, Side Effects Graphics, ELF, Noco Fuel and Lubricants and the Bridgestone-Firestone Racing Academy. He would also like to thank his family and friends for their continued support.