BFREN: Beaulieu awarded 'Driver of the Year'

LANGLEY, BC, CANADA - November 26, 2001: British Columbian racer Josh Beaulieu has been awarded Canadian Formula Ford& ...

LANGLEY, BC, CANADA - November 26, 2001: British Columbian racer Josh Beaulieu has been awarded Canadian Formula Ford“ Driver of the Year” by Ford of Canada. In this, his first year of year of professional racing, Beaulieu also earned the Esso Speedpass Award for leading more than twice as many laps as the next racer.

"There is no question that Josh had an extraordinary 2001 season in Formula Ford,” said Eric Berman, the Series Director. “ Barring a technical infraction that took one victory away from him, it may well have been a championship season.

“ The Ford Driver of the year award is a very prestigious award, recognizing outstanding performance by a driver in all areas on and off the race track. The series organizers and Ford of Canada looked at all the statistics and the intangibles to determine the winner. It was difficult decision with so many great driver performances this year, but Josh clearly stood out among them. He is a worthy recipient, and we wish him the best of luck in the future."

Beaulieu emailed a brief video accepting the award, as he was in the UK competing in the Formula Renault Winter Series for four weeks. He was the first to admit the difficulty in jumping into a new racing series without many testing miles.

“ Formula Renault in Europe is so competitive that there is not much to compare it to over here,” Beaulieu said after returning from England on Thursday. “ If you are 1.3 seconds off, you’re 21st on the grid! We had problems with the brakes on the first race weekend, and we were also carrying a significant amount of weight more than the ballast, due to the series regulations which favor a smaller driver. This made it difficult when everybody is within tenths of a second.”Click for

Beaulieu was philosophical about having mixed results. “ To be honest, it was an amazing experience overall. I showed that I can jump in a new car and immediately be within a second off the quickest guys who have more experience on these tracks and in these cars. While you always want to win, sometimes it isn’t so much about getting the results straight away– but instead measuring where you’re at, then doing the work to get to where you want to go, which is to the top of the podium.”

While racing in Formula Atlantic is a possibility for 2002, Beaulieu is pursuing a drive with one of four British Formula 3 Scholarship teams who are interested in his potential. “ The Scholarship class is the same as A-class– same testing days and races– with the only difference being a one year-old chassis and a two year-old spec engine. It would be a great program for learning the car and tracks, with an intention on moving up to the A-class for 2003. British F3 A-class is where guys like Mika Hakkinen, Jenson Button, and new Jordan driver Takuma Sato have raced before going straight to F1.”

Josh Beaulieu, in only his third year of auto racing, has established himself as part of the next generation of Canada's racing stars. You can

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Series Formula Renault
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , Mika Hakkinen , Josh Beaulieu