May. 19, 2011, 11:01 pm

Got Mik?

I recently had a chance to chat with Mikael “Mik” Grenier, driver of the #63 CellSafety car for the O2 Racing Technology Team. This is his rookie year with the Firestone Indy Lights series, but Mik is not new to racing. The 19 year-old Canadian started racing when he was just five years old! He had so much fun that when he was in his early teens his parents recognized Mik’s passion and talent and got him a coach.


Practice, coaching, and the drive (no pun intended) to learn and grow paid off for Mik! Last year he won a feature race at Autobahn Chicago. He finished second at the 2010 O'Reilly Raceway Park Night and completed six races in the 2009 Star Mazda championship (with two 3rd place finishes at both rounds of the New Jersey Motorsports double-header). Additionally, he finished 4th in championship points in 2008 in the Formula BMW Americas, 2nd in rookie points, and finished the season series with seven podium finishes.


This season Mik is consistently racing strong and is in seventh place in championship points (the points from 3rd-7th place are very tight). He’s got a very positive attitude, and talking with him really gets you excited to follow him through the season!


I asked Mik what it’s like to be a racecar driver driving along the road with the rest of us non-racing types. He’s seen many bad traffic accidents, so when he’s driving he remembers to stay calm, not exceed the speed limits, and remember that he gets to race at another time (which most of us don’t get a chance to do). When I asked if his family stressed any driving safety rules he said that driving while texting, and drinking and driving were ones that are stressed at home.


“Among the tracks I’ve raced, I’ve enjoyed racing at the Streets of Long Beach most because it was a good track and so many people that showed up to watch the event.” He said, “I’m looking forward to the Streets of Trois Rivieres now. It’s a big event, a nice organization, and close to home.”


When we talked about how the season is going so far he said they’re at a really good pace, and even though they had a hard weekend in Long Beach, the championship points are still tight. If they keep being consistent, bringing the car home, and keep putting everything together, the results will come.


Mik enjoys being a role model to the kids who come and watch the events. “I remember going to a race with my dad and being in their place,” he said. “If I can do anything to help kids out, I will.”


Mik and the O2 team have an exciting season ahead of them! Mik is thankful for the chance to be racing in the Firestone Indy Lights series and knows that O2 and its sponsors are the reason he’s there. He’s quite positive that the desired results will come, and I’m positive that Mik’s own talent, ability to grow, and his positive outlook will also have a direct influence for a strong season.

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May. 19, 2011, 11:01 pm

An Interview with Peter Dempsey

O2 Racing Technology is very proud of driver Peter Dempsey and the #36 Pulse car who recently took third place at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, FL. This was the first race of the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights season, and the first podium finish for O2. (O2 was formerly Genoa Lights and did have a second place finish at Long Beach and a championship in 1986 under the Genoa name.)


I talked with Peter about his recent win, and how he got into racing. Peter said they had aimed to finish in the top five, so they exceeded their goals for their first race. Peter had a great start; leading for the first eleven laps, but didn’t have the pace to keep first. This is Peter’s first race with the O2RT team, and with such a great start, he knows they will only improve.


Peter comes from a racing family. His dad raced in the 70’s, and then started a professional racing team in 1989 in Ireland. He grew up around professional racers and started driving go-carts when he was eight years old. Peter says he’s very fortunate to have a family that understands and supports him in his career.


Peter’s family also taught him about driving safely. He said that his parents always emphasized wearing seatbelts, being aware of others on the road, and never drinking and driving. He said that as a professional driver he’s more inclined to follow the rules of the road, and not fool around, because he knows the dangers of unsafe driving.


Peter came to the US in 2008 to race; and the 25 year old Dublin Ireland native has three championships, more than 35 race wins and been on the podium more than 45 times. He hopes one day to race in the Indy 500, and be an INDYCAR champion.


On and off the track, he enjoys being a role model. He tries to be the best example he can be to others. He loves everything about racing, and looks for any way he can to help others learn and be excited about racing.


We also talked about the Pulse product. Pulse, which sponsors the #36 car, is an aftermarket, rear-end collision avoidance system that is distributed through new and used car dealerships. It is also sold directly to automobile and light duty truck fleets. Peter had first- hand experience seeing the Pulse product work when he followed a car that had Pulse installed. He said it caught his attention straight out of the box, and it’s a product that will work because it’s highly visible.


Peter has a long season ahead of him. There are thirteen races on a variety of tracks, all over the country. He told me that eight of the thirteen races are going to be televised. He will drive speeds ranging from 155 (on road courses) to 200 mph (on super tracks). He hasn’t raced yet at 200 mph, so he’s excited for those races. He’s extremely appreciative to O2 and Pulse for giving him the opportunity to be the #36 driver, and we all wish Peter a safe and successful season!


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Apr. 18, 2011, 10:30 pm

O2 Racing Tests Dempsey and Grenier at Homestead

O2 Racing Tests Dempsey and Grenier at Homestead

O2 Racing put two accomplished Star Mazda drivers, Peter Dempsey and Mikael Grenier, through their paces Monday, March 21 at the Homestead-Miami Road Course.  It was the second outing for Dempsey in the #36 Pulse car and the first experience for 18 year old French-Canadian Grenier in the #63 CellSafety car.


Both drivers worked through a detailed test plan with different setups through the day.  Picking up right where he left off from the Barber test, Dempsey produced solid, competitive laps and finalized the team’s preparations for St. Pete. Grenier quickly learned the nuances of the Firestone Indy Lights (FIL) car and was on pace by early afternoon.. 


In addition to being the first time in a FIL chassis, this was the first time Grenier had been in the #63 CellSafety car.  While demonstrating patience and discipline, he showed his skill by quickly adapting to the driving style required of the heavier, higher down force FIL series car.  By early afternoon, Grenier was producing very competitive lap times with the other test participants.


O2 Racing Owner, Mark Olson states


We had another great day.  Peter finished up the team’s pre-season preparations and set a top 2 or 3 lap time in doing so. We introduced Mik to the team and got him into the #63 CellSafety car for the first time.  Mik not only proved that he belongs in the FIL series, but in getting up to speed in the new car, he demonstrated poise, patience, discipline, and maturity that belies his age.  We are very pleased with where we’re positioned going into the first race of the season. The team chemistry (including the teamwork between the drivers), the driver talent, the level of preparation, etc. has all come together nicely.


Grenier is no stranger to open wheel racing.  In 2010 the Stoneham Quebec Canada native won one of the feature races at Autobahn Chicago. He also earned the pole at the 2010 O’Reilly Raceway Park Night Before the 500 finishing the event in second place


As a 17-year-old Grenier completed six races in the 2009 Star Mazda championship with Andersen Racing.  His best finish was third which occurred at both rounds of the New Jersey Motorsports Park double-header.  He finished inside the top-ten in 5-out-of-6 races of his 2009 race starts.


In addition to Grenier’s Star Mazda action, he finished 4th in championship points in 2008 in the Formula BMW Americas – second in rookie points.  He finished the season series with seven podium finishes.


CellSafety, a leading product from WebSafety Inc. (OTC: WBSI) is a smartphone app designed for enterprise or home use.  It temporarily blocks voice and data communication to/from the smartphone while driving and includes GPS tracking, GPS fencing, and automated reporting functionality. Originally designed as a way for parents to protect their kids, it allows the IT department at large companies to manage the risky smartphone usage behavior of its employees.


Pulse is an aftermarket rear-end collision avoidance system that is distributed through new and used car dealerships and that is sold directly to automobile and light duty truck fleets.


The team now moves onto St. Petersburg Florida for the season opening event, the Streets of St. Petersburg March 27th.


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Mar. 30, 2011, 11:35 am

O2 Starts Strong at Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

O2 Racing Begins Season Strong

O2 Racing began the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights season with an exciting weekend at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.  Peter Dempsey and the #36 Pulse car raced their way to the podium finishing in third place.  Mikael Grenier and the #63 CellSafety car battled from the back of the field to finish 7th.


Peter Dempsey in the O2 Racing 36 Pulse/MicroBiology International car took the lead on the first turn of the first lap from his fifth position on the grid.  He held the lead for the first 11 laps, when eventual winner Josef Newgarden overtook him in turn 5 of lap 12.  Dempsey stayed with the lead pack dropping back to fourth in the middle segment of the race.  A late race full course caution grouped the field together and the #36 car gained one additional position on the final restart putting Dempsey and O2 Racing on the Podium.


Mikael Grenier ran an impressive race as well.  The 63 car suffered a mechanical issue in the Saturday morning practice sending Mik into the tires and damaging the nose of the CellSafety car.  The O2 team worked diligently to bring the 63 car back to competition level, but unfortunately missed qualifying.  This meant Mik would start from the rear of the field.


Undeterred, Mik gained four positions in the first lap.  He drove a very smart race, conserving his tires, applying pressure when needed and consistently moving up through the field.  When the late cautions fell, the young Canadian driver took advantage, having saved his equipment for such an opportunity.  He gained two more spots by the time the checkered flag fell finishing the race in 7th position.


O2 Racing Team owner Mark Olson states,

It was a pretty good weekend for us. We knew we had a great team assembled – drivers, equipment, and crew. So it was nice to get a chance to show it on the race track. We couldn’t be prouder of Peter and Mik, they both did a great job on and off the track.


The O2 Racing team will compete at Barber Motorsports Park April 7-10.


CellSafety, a leading product from WebSafety Inc. (OTC: WBSI) is a smartphone app designed for enterprise or home use.  It temporarily blocks voice and data communication to/from the smartphone while driving and includes GPS tracking, GPS fencing, and automated reporting functionality. Originally designed as a way for parents to protect their kids, it allows the IT department at large companies to manage the risky smartphone usage behavior of its employees.


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Nov. 5, 2010, 2:06 pm

Quamtel joins O2 Racing for 2011


O2 Racing Technology is pleased to announce Quamtel as the sponsor of the #36 Quamtel car for the 2011 season. Participating in several “one-off” events in 2010, Quamtel saw bottom-line benefits to their motorsports marketing program from a Brand/Image, B2C, and a B2B perspective, and this full-time program for 2011 is the natural next step.

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Oct. 12, 2010, 7:48 pm

Dave McMillan to Engineer in 2011

O2 Racing Technology is pleased to announce that, effective immediately, it has secured the services of race engineer Dave McMillan for the 2011 season. With seven years' experience in Firestone Indy Lights, engineer Dave McMillan has scored 8 poles, 25 "top 5" starts, 8 wins,  and 23 podium finishes with Jeff Simmons, Al Unser III, Phil Giebler, Marco Andretti, Jay Howard, Jonny Reid, and Charlie Kimball.


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Oct. 6, 2010, 8:38 am

Another Top Ten at Homestead

The O2 Racing Technology #36 Quamtel/DataJack car concluded the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season with a 7th place finish at Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka 100 at Miami Homestead Speedway Saturday October 2nd. Overcoming a poor qualifying position, due in part to lost track time diagnosing a broken right front shock in the second practice session; Daniel Herrington drove an outstanding race. Herrington charged through the field, earning the event Hard Charger Award to provide the team with a momentum heading into the 2011 season.


Click Here to see press release in it's entirety.

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Sep. 27, 2010, 5:14 pm

Daniel Herrington to Pilot the #36 Quamtel / DataJack Entry at Homestead Finale


O2 Racing Technology announces that American, Daniel Herrington, will pilot the #36 Quamtel/DataJack entry in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
With a race win and an additional 18 top ten finishes in 29 starts, Herrington is eager for the opportunity to once more prove his mettle on the fast 1.5 mile speedway in Homestead, FL. Teammates for a handful of races in 2008, Herrington and team owner, Mark Olson, the 2010 season finale presented itself as the perfect chance to launch a couple of new opportunities for next season.

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Feb. 26, 2010, 8:53 pm

Genoa Responds to Barber Open Test

Genoa's Firestone Indy Lights team concluded a succcessful test at Barber Motorsports Park today. Driver of the #36 Traka car, Richard Richard Kent in Traka CarKent, started the day with an unfortunate incident. On lap 3 of the test, with temps in the low 40's, Kent grabbed a gear and spun the car. He made light contact with a wall, damaging the nose cone, a main plane, and the left side end fence assembly. After a quick change to the the backup nose assembly, Kent was back on the track.

Team President, Mark Olson states, "Showing steady improvement over the course of the day, Richard completed by far the most number of laps (compared to the other drivers) at 96. We threw a lot of information and a lot of setups at him, and he responded well. We received good feedback from Richard, and we now have a good baseline for April."

Kent commented on the challenge of the day. "It was really my first time to run a car this heavy and with this much power on such a fast, high downforce track. I am happy with the progress we made as I worked through an aggressive test plan."

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Feb. 26, 2010, 8:39 pm

Genoa to Participate at the Barber Open Test

Genoa is pleased to announce plans to participate in the Barber Open Test, with Richard Kent driving the #36 Traka car. From Milton Keynes, England, Kent has competed throughout Europe and the United States in Formula Palmer Audi and Star Mazda. Making his mark in Star Mazda, he scored 3 race wins, 5 pole positions, 4 podiums, and 9 top 10 finishes.


Kent states:


“After our success in Star Mazda, we are keen to move up to Lights. I am confident that I’m ready to take the next step, winning races and competing for the championship in the Indy Lights Series. I had a good test with another team, but I really feel that Genoa has the expertise to not only compete on the race track, but also the marketing expertise to promote myself and my sponsors to the next level - IndyCar. The 36 car looks great, and we’re definitely ready to go at Barber. I can’t wait!”


Team President Mark Olson states:


“We’re really pleased to have the opportunity to work with Richard. From his earlier tests, he has demonstrated the ability to be on the pace right out of the box. For the Open Test at Barber, we’ve got an aggressive test plan to work through, and we’re looking forward to getting the most out of the track time.”


Genoa has enjoyed tremendous success in International Formula 3000, Atlantic, Indy Lights and IndyCar competition.  In over 240 formula car starts, its heritage includes a championship, 17 victories, 20 poles, and a front-row starting position at the 1998 Indianapolis 500. Some of Genoa’s past drivers include Ivan Capelli, Juan Manuel Fangio Jr., Thiago Medeiros, Jimmy Vasser and Greg Ray.


Genoa will tweet and facebook live updates from pit road at the Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park.  Links to follow Genoa on Twitter or Facebook are listed below.


Traka is a UK based, high tech electronic key and management software manufacturer which serves casino, defense, law enforcement, correctional, petrochemical and other industries. Traka leads the world in innovative developments in electronic key security systems in areas such as vehicle control, facilities management, and access control.


Re-joining Genoa for the 2010 season are associate team sponsors Brandwidth, Pierce Jewelers, and Express Medical Records. Brandwidth is an Indianapolis based integrated marketing firm. Pierce Jewelers, located in Carmel, Indiana, is known for its handcrafted fine jewelry and for its watchmaker, Buddy Pierce.  Express Medical Records is a nationwide legal documentation and record retrieval service.


Follow Genoa on Twitter and fan them on Facebook for updates on the season and live coverage from the track. Follow Richard Kent  on Twitter as well.


For information regarding sponsorship, open seats, or other team matters, please contact team owner, Mark Olson. For media information or to make interview arrangements, contact Julie Bonn-Heath.

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