Signs of the 2008 Australian MINI Challenge becoming one step closer have advanced with the news that Neil McFadyen will lead the charge for the M3 Motorsports team. The 24 year old McFadyen has an impressive CV that includes three successive Australian CIK Karting Championships in three different categoriesâ€”where he was pitted against names such as Jamie Whincup, James Courtney, Paul Dumbrell and Mark Winterbottom. His driving prowess was further highlighted with another four karting national Championships, not to mention his Australian Formula Ford Championship (2003) and Australian Driverâ€™s Championship Gold Star the following year. ‘I’m pumped about being involved in MINI Challenge and with M3 Motorsport,’ said the ordinarily reserved McFadyen. ‘The fact the car is a true race car and the whole setup of the Series behind the scenes is pretty exciting’
As revealed earlier, Peter Doulman’s M3 Motorsport team was one of the first to sign up for the MINI Challenge series and Doulman is expecting big things from his young gun MacFadyen. ‘Neil’s one of the most talented drivers Australia has ever produced,’ Doulman observed. ‘And he was sitting on his bum doing nothing! We wanted someone behind the wheel who could win the Series for M3 Motorsport and I believe that Neil is the driver who will deliver that for us.’
Following the recent news that Paul Stokell and Bill Gremos have signed with the DecoRug Motorsport team, McFadyen knows he will have some tough competition ahead of him. But Doulman is confident he can win, ‘we do want a bit of competition up the front, but at the end of the season, our sole aim is to walk away with the Series win.’
MINI Challenge has attracted over seven hours television coverage for its inaugural season, four hours of which will be live as part of the Seven Networkâ€™s V8 Supercars coverage. The first race is at Sydney’s Eastern Creek over the weekend of 7-9 March.