May. 19, 2011, 11:01 pm
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.