YOUNG Racing Driver of the Year Jonny McMullan is likely to race more in the UK this season than previous winners of the prestigious Sexton Trophy.
The 22-year-old won the award, and the €50,000 prizefund, last month, which includes a season racing in a Motorsport Ireland-supplied Van Diemen Formula Ford (FF) 1600 car run by Bernard Dolan Racing.
Niall Murray, the 2013 winner, raced mainly in the Irish FF championship in 2014 and dovetailed those events with end-of-season Trophy races in Britain.
“We have yet to put a full programme in place for Jonny, but our intention is to do more Formula Ford races in the UK this season,” said Mick Merrigan, who will manage McMullan for his 2015 campaign.
“Although he finished second in the Festival at Brands last year, we feel that drivers who race all year on UK circuits have a distinct advantage when it comes to the end of season Trophy races.
“In an effort to give Jonny more experience, it is our intention to race the car at UK Formula Ford 1600 rounds at the likes of Brands Hatch, Silverstone and Donington Park, as well as competing in the Irish championship this season.”
Jonny McMullan is the Motorsport Young Racing Driver of the Year. The 22-year old from Newtownabbey received the prestigious Sexton Trophy at the annual Motorsport Ireland Awards in Dublin on Wednesday.
For the 2015 season he will drive the Motorsport Ireland Van Diemen, contesting the major Formula Ford Championships in Ireland.
Not only does the award come with the most coveted trophy in Irish motor racing, but also a prize that is akin to a works drive for the new season.
McMullan was one of six drivers in the running for the trophy, with a further interview session reducing the number to three.
“I am speechless, this is a massive opportunity for me and I will give it my all, I am really looking forward to the season ahead,” said McMullan.
Commenting on his son’s success, Ian McMullan - who has supported him throughout - added: “[I am] simply delighted, Jonny has put so much into his racing.”
This season due to budget restrictions McMullan concentrated on major races such as the Leinster Trophy at Mondello Park and the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch.
He is one of the most talented drivers currently racing in Ireland and he has ambitions to follow in the wheel tracks of the likes of Eddie Irvine and Martin Donnelly.
Jonny McMullan from Newtownabbey has been selected as the Dunlop Young Racing Driver of the Month for September.
The 22 year-old finished third in the Leinster Trophy feature race at Mondello Park, having earlier finished fifth and sixth in the two Formula Ford 1600 National Championship rounds.
Last Sunday, he was runner-up in the final of the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch, and this weekend, he will contest the Walter Hayes Trophy race at Silverstone, driving the same Ray.
Jonny began his motorsport career in kart racing at the age of 10, and transferred to racing cars in 2009.
He was the Northern Ireland Formula Ford 1600 champion in 2010, and contested some rounds of the British Formula Ford series during the following year.
In 2011, he finished fifth in both the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch and the Walter Hayes Trophy race at Silverstone.
He is sponsored by Radiator Services (NI), whose Mondiale he drove at Mondello, and he also very much appreciates the support he receives from his family.
Jonny works as a mechanic for the Donnelly Group at Mallusk in Co Antrim.
Jonny is currently planning his 2015 racing season, when he hopes to challenge again for the Northern Ireland Formula Ford title and also contest the NI Saloon class.
Having been selected as the sixth and final Dunlop Driver of the Month for the 2014 season, he is now a contender for the prestigious Dunlop Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year Award and the historic Sexton Trophy. This award is presented annually and is supported by Dunlop, the Irish Sports Council and Motorsport Ireland.
Jonny McMullan finished second at Brands Hatch in the annual Formula Ford Festival Final.
The young Ulster driver who has struggled all season long for sponsorship started from pole position in the Souley Motorsport Ray and again proved why he is one of the best racing talents in these islands.
Jonny McMullan is one of three finalists for this year’s Motorsport Ireland Dunlop Young Racing Driver of the Year Award.
The 21 year old driver from Newtownabbey was one of the stars of Formula Ford racing in Ireland both at Kirkistown and at Mondello Park.
One of the highlights was winning the Holmpatrick Trophy at Mondello Park.
What was truly remarkable about McMullan’s performances was that he drove a locally built Mondiale car which was the same age has himself and his results were achieved against much more modern cars.
Stephen Daly was nominated for his performances in June.
The 23 year-old from County Meath had four wins during the year at Mondello Park and Kirkistown.
And these, coupled with a string of good placings, were enough for him to take runner up position in the Gary Gibson Trophy Championship.
The final driver in the running for the award is Niall Murray, who was nominated in May. The 18 year-old, in his first season in single seaters, took victory at Kirkistown in August after a string of good placings during the year, but the high point came at Brands Hatch in October when he defeated a top class field from many countries to win the Final of the World Cup.
One will receive the Dunlop Sexton Trophy and a full season of racing Formula Ford culminating with the World Cup at Brands Hatch and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone in 2014.
He will drive a car provided by Motorsport Ireland with backing from Dunlop and the Irish Sports Council and run by a professional racing team Bernard Dolan Racing and he will also be mentored by Mick Merrigan for the year.
The Motorsport Ireland Dunlop Champions of Irish Motorsport Awards will take place on Tuesday December 10 at the Marker Hotel, Dublin.
Jonny McMullan from Newtownabbey, Co Antrim has been selected as the Dunlop Young Racing Driver of the Month for September. The 21 year-old won the second Formula Ford 1600 race at the Leinster Trophy meeting at Mondello Park, having earlier finished fourth in race one.
Two weeks later, he was runner-up in the final of the Martin Donnelly Memorial Trophy race at Kirkistown, despite his 1989 Mondiale having to compete against the more modern cars driven by most of his opposition.
Jonny began his motorsport career in kart racing from the age of 10, and transferred to racing cars in 2009. He was the Northern Ireland Formula Ford 1600 champion in 2010, and contested some rounds of the British Formula Ford series during the following year. In 2011, he finished fifth in both of the major end-of-season races in Britain, the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch and the Walter Hayes Trophy race at Silverstone.
He is sponsored by Radiator Services (NI), Dawson Wam, The Dark Horse, Leslie Drysdale, and he also very much appreciates the support he receives from his family. Jonny works as a mechanic for the karting track at Nutts Corner in Co Antrim.
Jonny is currently preparing for this year’s Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy races, which take place on the weekends of October 26/27 and November 2/3.
Having been selected as the sixth and final Dunlop Driver of the Month for the 2013 season, Jonny is now a contender for the prestigious Dunlop Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year Award and the historic Sexton Trophy. This award is presented annually and is supported by Dunlop, the Irish Sports Council and Motorsport Ireland.
After a cosistent season so far, Jonny is now leading all three championships. He has been on the podium every race apart from the June Race meeting where he had engine problems finish fifth in race two. The july rounds were two good point scoring races for Jonny as he went onto finishing third and second in the races ahead of championship leader Ivor Mccullough who had engine problems. In the first race it was a a four lap stint as the race came under safety car for most of it after a first lap crash. In the few laps that were left he was able to get into the lead for a split second but a good move by Dempsey put him back to third to the finish line. Race two started raining just before it so a tricky track was encountered by the drivers. Jonny got a poor start with too much wheel spin dropping him to fifth but lap by lap he was able to get past Dempsey, Dunne and Pollock to get into second behind Noel Robinson. Traction problems out of the hairpin hindered Jonny but he was able to get onto Noel on the last lap but good defending by him was enough to see him win the race. It was a good weekend points wise and he now leads the championship going into the penultimate two rounds at Mondello Park in Naas on the 21st/22nd July.
A very good start to the 2012 season was had by Jonny on the 31st of March when Jonny qualified 2nd for the two open races, a tenth of 2011 Formula Ford festival winner Ivor Mcullough. In the first race it was a very tight race with Ivor and 2010 Festival Winner Neville Smyth the whole fifteen minutes wheel to wheel. Jonny was second going into the last lap but he did a great move round the outside of Neville for the lead at colonial one and was able to hold it to the line to take the win. Along with the win Jonny also broke the open record to a 61.023 and broke his own previous pre 90 lap record set in 2011 from a 61.6 to the 61.023. In the second race it was the same again with all three battling for the lead and Jonny was challenging Ivor the whole race but couldnt find a way past. Going onto the last lap Jonny was in second and an attempt for the lead at colonial was denied by Ivor. Going onto the back straight for the last time it was almsot three a breast and into the hairpin contact happened between Neville and Jonny, and Jonny was sent spinning but was able to finish 4h going quicker than the 2011 lap record. From here Jonny is hoping to take this momentum into the first round of the Formula Ford SuperSeries on the 28th April at Kirkistown.
After a very successful year in 2011 in an older 89 Mondiale 89s and also a few rounds in the British Formula Ford Championship with Cliff Dempsey Racing due to finance. He also had a good showing at the Formula Ford Festival and the Walter Hayes Trophy against tough competition. For 2012 Jonny is looking a full campaign at a championship either in the UK or USA. Jonny has been talking to many teams and many good offers have been made. In a very expensive sport Jonny needs backing for this year to be able to show his true potential. If you have any questions about wanting to help Jonny with his racing this year, you can contact Jonny on this website through the 'Contact' page.
To finish off 2011 for Jonny he competed in the very competitive Walter Hayes Trophy with Athgoe Racing at Silverstone Racing Circuit. Instead of the usual Mondiale 89s that he drove in the Northern Ireland Championship and the Formula Ford Festival, Jonny will be competiting in a Ray GR09. After two days of testing in the wet and one session in the dry Jonny set out for qualifying on the Saturday morning with a damp track. Jonny was p1 right through to the last two minutes and the track was getting quicker every lap, unfortunately he was piped to pole by Chris Middlehurst. Jonny started the heat in second and was able to get the lead of the race around the outside into brooklands on the first lap and he was able to hold the lead for the rest of the race and onto victory in the heat. On the Sunday morning Jonny started the semi final in third. The semi final turned into a very tough race with a great battle with Josh Fisher and Adrian Campfield. Jonny was in the lead for three laps but at the end of the race he ended up third and put him in a great starting position for the final. For the final Jonny started sixth and into becketts on the first lap he was able to grab 5th off Felix Fisher. A few issues with straight line speed meant Jonny couldnt capatilise with the front four. A mistake with two laps to go from Jonny made him fall to sixth behind American Trent Hindman but a last lap move on Trent gave the Northern Irish Driver a well deserved fifth place finish to finish of a busy season.
3rd in Northern Ireland Championship
Pre 90 Champion
Pre 93 Champion
6th in Champion of Brands
5th at Formula Ford Festival (DNF in heat, 8th in semi from 21st and 5th in final from 16th)
5th at Walter Hayes Trophy (1st in heat, 3rd in semi)
After a successful test in Scott Malverns 2010 winning car in February 2011 Jonny has decided to sign a deal with the Irish race winning team Cliff Dempsey Racing for 2011. CDR took Scott Malvern too second place in the championship last year and Jonny is hoping for big things this year. 'After a successful first year with Scott last year Cliff is determined to do a good job this year with the new GR11 Ray. I am looking forward to getting in the new car for the first round of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain at Silverstone this weekend'
At his second attempt at the Formula Ford Festival Jonny has secured 5th in the prestigious event. After a poor qualifying Jonny qualified his Van Diemen RF92 on the fourth row of the grid in 8th. He went onto finishing third on the podium and second in his semi final and went onto finishing 5th in the final. Jonny said 'Yes the festival was a brilliant weekend for us, I was quite disapointed with my performance in qualifying but we had good pace in the heat and the semi but a bit of damage in my final hindered our potential pace'
On only his second year of car racing jonny drove his Van Diemen RF92 to becoming Northern Ireland Formula Ford 1600 Champion at the age of 18. Jonny had a good start to the season with winning the first race of the season. He went onto winning three races that season and a total of 6 podium finishes. This was enough for Jonny to wrap up the title at the final round of the championship from defending champion John Ferguson. Jonny now goes onto the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch in three weeks.