Hello, my name is Dan Wells and thanks for visiting my personal website! I'd like to share my journey with you.
I was born in Southampton in May of 1991, but grew up in a small town called Salisbury, in the south of the UK. My family ran a road side restaurant, which I started washing dishes in from the age of 11. My first memories of wanting to race were around this time - other school children had karting events for their birthdays, and I so desperately wanted to race more often. But as is the case in many situations, the finances nor the time were there for me to pursue this avenue.
I was fortunate enough to go to a good Secondary School, and my sister is a 18 months older than me, took good advantage of it for all of her years there. It wasn't until she got such fantastic GCSE results that it inspired me - by virtue of wanting to beat her! I was pretty lazy and not the brightest of kids until probably the final year of school, when I started to actually focus my mind and attention on the task at hand, and I managed to become top in my year for GCSE results (7 A*'s, 4 A's, and 2 B's) - beating my sister by good margin, too! It was at this point that I realised, if I put my mind to something and put the effort in, I could achieve it.
I studied economics and politics at college, and it was in my economics class that I met a friend who got me really into watching Formula One. I became a big fan, to the point my nickname was 'F1 Dan'. I then started a college karting team, where upon I beat some established karters from the national championships. So I figured, I wanted to do this properly!
I emailed Exeter University to cancel my university place (seriously!) and managed to persuade my family to support my ambition to become a racing driver! A fastest lap in my first ever 'proper' Senior Rotax kart race opened the page for what has been the most exciting, grueling, character-building, and happiest chapter of my life. Karts in 2009 led to class race wins in Formula Ford 1600 the following year, to Formula Renault UK with the backing of the Racing Steps Foundation, and then the Finals Series in 2011 where I placed 2nd in the hugely competitive winter event, behind Oliver Rowland, but ahead of the likes of F1 driver Daniil Kyvat.
The financial backing to continue in Europe wasn't there for me in 2012 - but my father had pledged 800GBP for my support - and he told me to make it go a long way! And that's when my journey to Asia began...
I was the first driver to successful use crowdfunding through my 'Twitter Powered Racing Driver' campaign, raising over 15,000 euros in the winter of 2011/12, and as a result of my new media networking, I was contacted by a Chinese race team, KCMG, whom wanted a European driver to come to Asia and win for them. They were setting up a new team in the Formula Pilota China Series, and the competition came from a strong 5 car Eurasia team including Antonio Giovinazzi and the Jagonya Ayam backing. In single seater motor racing, although there are some subsidies and supports available to the right drivers, generally at the lower levels of the sport you need to bring a financial package to the team in order to race. Although I did not have any funds, no home, no family here in Hong Kong, I signed a contract to race and started working on finding the sponsors!
Since then, I've won races in every championship I have competed in, formed my own company - Dan Wells and Investors Ltd, which manages my investment and sponsorships, stepped on the podium of the Macau Grand Prix, and in 2015 I became the Asian Formula Renault Champion, with 10 dominant wins with the support of BlackArts Racing and KCMG.
I remember at the very beginning of my career I sat down and wrote down my plans as to how I was going to achieve my goals of climbing the motorsport ladder. At the time, I was stacking shelves at Waitrose supermarket for a job, daydreaming about being in a car. I remember thinking how great and easy it would be, and that served for some time, until realities hit, but even then I did not give up the dream. Instead, I picked myself up and pushed on even further. From karting, to Formula Ford, to Formula Pilota, Formula Masters, Formula Renault and Formula 3 - each time you sit in a car which is 'the next level', it is hugely special. I remember the feeling of my first F3 test with Carlin in 2013 - I had envisioned that day for years, and somehow I had managed to make this happen.
But the best moment was sitting in a car just below F1 level - the World Series by Renault 3.5 car, in November of 2015. I had been given a prize test by Renault (for winning the Asian Formula Renault Championship) where I had one morning in the car to show my skills. My team mate was to be the Vice Champion of the 2015 Series, Matthieu Vaxiviere. When I first sat in the car for my seat fit, my whole body lit up, and when the engine was fired for the first time I just felt this wave of emotion. Just sitting in the car was a special moment for me.
I had never seen the Motorland Aragon track before, and had never driven a 'big' car like this. But even so I managed to lap within 0.5s of the 2015 Champion, and I was 3 tenths of a second faster than the 2015 European and NEC Formula Renault Champion Jack Aitken, whom I believe had tested the car on numerous occasions previously.
2015 was a stellar year. From a chance phone call with team and sponsor 3 days before the start of the Asian Formula Renault Championship, I went on to win every race since April (by upwards of 20 seconds in a single 10 lap race), and I was given the opportunity to race a Porsche Carrera Cup GT car with KCMG in the Asian Le Mans Championship, and to represent Asia well in the prize World Series by Renault test.
In 2016, I was selected by the Changan Ford Racing Team to become the first non-Chinese driver in the Chinese Touring Car Championship. I took pole position in my debut in a touring car at the opening round in Nanjing and supported Ford to win the 2016 Manufacturer's Title. I also competed in a one-off event in the Audi R8 LMS Cup in Korea, qualifying 4th on debut, finishing 5th, raced in the Super Taikyu series in a Mercedes SLS and then made my GT4 debut at the Sepang 12 Hours in December, taking pole position and winning the class with my teammates Zen Low and Darren Burke.
In 2017, I raced in the China-based FRD LMP3 Series with the Eurasia Motorsport team and backing from EVISU.
In 2018, I stood on the top step of the podium at the FIA Chinese F4 event in Wuhan, in the Shanghai 888km in the TP1 class, and also was on the podium at the Bahrain International GT4 Cup event.
2019 is going to bring an a lot of exciting race events so please stay tuned!
I hope you enjoy reading my website.
Partners and sponsors are a vital part to helping me perform on track. Since my arrival in Hong Kong, I have built a small business community of partners whom back my efforts on track, and interact with each other off track. Whether it be P&P for their expertise in accounting services, TST Sweden for their cooling vests for use during my races, or Dundons Solicitors for their legal support, without each and every one of them I would not be able to perform to the best of my ability.
If you or your company would like to join #TeamWells as a partner, please get in contact with myself through this webpage, or contact my Marketing and Commercial Advisor Torrey Dorsey by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contribution is an important part of my role as a human being and businessman. I remember when I was first contemplating setting up a crowdfunding page for my efforts - did I really want to set this ball rolling? The idea of myself as a racing driver raising funds from the public to follow my dream took much deliberation in the winter of 2011/12, but I had to do what I had to do.
Ever since then, I made a promise to myself that I would always engage myself in charitable activities to help those with far more basic needs such as a loving family, water and food.
In the last few years, my race team, sponsors and I have helped raise much needed funds for organisations such as Half the Sky, Liberty Asia, the Cambodian Children's Fund, among many more deserving charities.
If your charity would like help with promotion, marketing, and fundraising, then please don't hesitate to contact me.