Sydney teenager Joseph Mawson has confirmed he will be taking the next step in his flourishing career during 2014 with the announcement that the will compete in the French Formula 4 Championship.
Mawson will be based at the Auto Sport Academy at the Le Mans circuit throughout the year while contesting the seven-event Championship.
It will be the second year the 17-year old has been based full-time in Europe after living in Italy while contesting the European and World Karting Championship events in 2013.
“To compete in the French F4 Championship is an amazing opportunity that I’m really looking forward to,” said Mawson, who will become the first Australian to compete in the French Championship.
“Living in Italy last year was a great way to tune myself into the dedication needed to make a career out of motor sport, and this is the next step.
“To have the support of the Australian Motor Sport Foundation once again is amazing and I can’t thank everyone involved enough for the support they have shown to me and my career over the past couple of years.”
For Australian Motor Sport Foundation Chairman Geoff Morgan the graduation of Mawson from top-level karting in Europe to Formula 4 is proof of the opportunities provided by the Foundation.
“Joey Mawson is one Australia’s brightest hopes in recent time to reach the pinnacle of worldwide motor sport. He has shown that he is equal to the best in the world of karting, both in Australia and Internationally,” said Morgan.
“Joey, like a lot of young people has great speed but he has something extra. He is also a great thinker and can put those thoughts into immediate action to improve his performance. He is a fine young man who we know will represent the Foundation and Australia with great pride.”
CAMS Chief Executive Officer Eugene Arocca believes the inclusion of an Australian into the French Formula 4 Championship is fantastic news ahead of the debut of the FIA sanctioned Formula 4 in Australian circuits in 2015.
“It is fantastic that the Foundation has been able to arrange for Joey to attend the Auto Sport Academy and play a significant role in supporting him with his motor sport career. Opportunities such as this are not easily accessed and it is evident that Joey's talent and the Foundation's reputation have made this engagement a reality. We will follow his career with great anticipation and excitement,” said Arocca.
Karting Australia Chairman Mick Doohan says Mawson’s inclusion in the French Formula 4 Championship is testament to the high quality of drivers that are able to graduate from karting into various other forms of motor sport.
“To see Joey succeed at the top level of karting in Europe over the past couple of years has been great for Australian karting. It’s proof that Australian drivers can mix it with the best in the World when they are able to gain the opportunities,” said Doohan.
“Now that he is taking the next step in his motor sport career into Formula 4 it’s further evidence of the springboard that karting at the top level can provide our young drivers with.”
Mawson completed an Assessment Day in Le Mans earlier this week and will stay in France to prepare for his opening event at the Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans on April 25-27.