Toronto area driver to make professional racing debut in Canada at Mosport. Toronto, ON - It was announced today that Dan McMullen, originally from Scarborough and now residing in Gormley, Ontario, will make his professional racing debut in...
Toronto area driver to make professional racing debut in Canada at Mosport.
Toronto, ON - It was announced today that Dan McMullen, originally from Scarborough and now residing in Gormley, Ontario, will make his professional racing debut in Canada at Mosport on August 16-18 driving in the supporting Michelin Fran-Am 2000 North American Championship Series which is being run in conjunction with the American Le Mans Series event at this famous track. He will be driving for the very experienced Phillip's Motorsports (PMI) team based out of Portland, Oregon headed up by Pierre Phillips and Paul Grosjean. Some of the famous drivers that have driven for this team in the past include Bobby Rahal, Jacque Villeneuve Sr., and Patrick Carpentier. Following this race, McMullen will also be driving for PMI the following weekend at the inaugural Molson Indy Montreal on August 23-25. To make his Canadian professional racing debut at these two famous tracks and along side some of the great teams and drivers of today has McMullen very excited at the prospect and chomping at the bit to make his mark in motor racing.
Following a very successful test with the PMI team at Race City Speedway in Calgary several weeks ago, where McMullen set a track record for these new cars to North America, the PMI team, along with Fran-Am Canada president Andrew Field, encouraged him to find any way possible to fit in as many Fran-Am races into his hectic race schedule that he could. His presence and experience would allow some measure for the other teams and drivers in this new series to compare themselves to someone who has been racing against some of Europe's best factory supported teams. The winner of the Michelin Fran-Am Championship wins a fully funded ride in Europe with a top Formula Renault team for 2003 and they will be up against very stiff competition.
At this time, with the French based series taking some time off in the month of August, running these two races pose no problem with scheduling and it is hoped that the necessary funding from new sponsors will also allow McMullen to contest further rounds in the series that do not conflict with his main goal of succeeding in the French Championship. Other rounds in the championship are scheduled for the CART events at Miami and Mexico City, as well as races in Las Vegas, Mid-America and Phoenix, with other prominent races that will hopefully be announced very soon. As well, the series has signed a five-year agreement to be a supporting race for the Air Canada Grand Prix starting in 2003.
For the past year, Dan has been racing in France in the FFSA Formula Renault Championship with the Hexis Racing Team, a new team to this series. It has been an up and down season so far with many mechanical problems getting in the way and preventing him from showing his full potential. At the most recent race at Croix en Ternois, the team made changes to their staff and this move paid off with him gaining his best qualifying of the year to date with an eleventh place on the grid, just 0.6 seconds off of the pole. The race though was a different story as at end of the very first lap, Tech 1 Racings Olivier Metz attempted to pass Dan on the outside and chopped over on him causing severe damage to the front suspension. Following the contact, the steering wheel was off ninety degrees and the cars handling was terrible, but he continued to press on until finally after eighteen laps the front tires were totally worn out and the car would not turn. The wise thing to do was to park it and that was the end of McMullen's race, his first DNF of the year. The series resumes on September 7-8 with a race at the Albi circuit followed by events at Le Mans and Magny-Cours in October.
Should the necessary funding become available, Dan's goal is to run as many of the Fran-Am races as possible, and even with missing several events, he, as well as the PMI Racing Team feel that he can win the championship. Formula Renault is regarded as one of, if not the most important development racing series in the world, with national championships being contested globally and it will help launch many young drivers to careers in Formula One and CART as well as other top level racing series.