Melbourne racing driver Dylan Young had his best finish of the season in the MRF Challenge season finale with a strong drive to second place in Chennai, India.
Races 11-15 of the 2018/2019 Championship were held at the MMRT Circuit in India from February 8-10 and Young secured a podium finish in 2nd position in Race 2 of the weekend.
Young's strong weekend included a 2nd (Race 2), 5th (Race 4), 6th (Race 1), 7th (Race 5) and 8th (Race 3).
Young was the leading Australian in the series to finish the overall Championship in 6th position in the standings out of 16 drivers from across the globe.
Dylan was immediately on the pace in the opening practice sessions, where he was fastest of all until dropping back to 4th at the end of Free Practice 1. A small incident off track in Free Practice 2 saw Young hit the tyre barrier but he would still end the session in 5th place, demonstrating his speed on the notoriously bumpy Chennai circuit.
Qualifying didn't go to plan and Dylan could only manage 8th after repeatedly catching traffic and yellow flags for incidents ahead, meaning he couldn't put a clear lap together. His best lap was set on lap 17 of a new tyre run where the tyres were drastically past their peak and it meant Young had to use his famous starts off the line to good use in the races.
In Race 1, Young immediately gained two positions, passing Championship leader Max Defourny in the process. He would soon pull away from the Belgian and spent the rest of the race trying to attack Jamie Chadwick but had to settle for 6th place at the chequered flag.
With Race 2 being a reverse grid for the top 6 of Race 1, Dylan lined up on pole position with Jamie Chadwick alongside him on the front row. Unfortunately for Dylan, he got a bad launch as the lights went out and lost the lead into turn 1 whilst trying to aggressively defend against Chadwick. The start of each race at Chennai is crucial because the narrow track and aero disturbance caused by the twisty layout makes passing an extremely difficult task. Young tried to find a way through Chadwick all race but after 20 laps crossed the line one second shy of claiming victory. The victory for Chadwick secured her the Championship lead with three races remaining and she would eventually go on to claim the title.
In Race 3, Young used an old set of tyres and struggled with the grip to come home in 8th place. He upped his pace in Race 4, finishing in a strong 5th place whilst fending off Patrik Pasma who went on to finish third in the Championship standings. In the final race of the weekend, Young found it difficult to get through the cars ahead and settled for 7th place.
"Overall, I'm really pleased to have such a strong weekend with 2nd place on the podium and 6th in the Championship out of 16 highly skilled drivers from all across the world," Young said.
"To be honest, I'm a little angry at myself at my clutch release which bogged me down at the start of Race 2 because I really feel had I got to turn 1 in the lead I would have been able to get the win. That's racing though and I'm still absolutely over the moon with the result. I feel it rewards all the sponsors and partners who believe in me and showcases what I can do against this highly competitive field, despite the fact they have all been doing much more racing than me in the middle part of the year!"
"The strong end to the season has really fuelled my desire for a strong 2019 season and I hope I can announce plans for that shortly. I just need to continue to bring partners onboard who can share my vision and I hope my performances this season will stand out to them!"
"I'd like to extend a huge thank you to all the partners, sponsors and investors who made this season possible. I also want to thank the guys in my corner on my car including Danny, Les, Chris, Dorky and Surendren along with all the MRF and JA Motorsport mechanics who work so hard!"
Dylan Young is proudly supported throughout his MRF Challenge campaign by:
Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat, IntelliTrac, Bizzow, Besser + Co Estate Agents, ORCA, Forum Group, Designsport, SEEK, Urban Maintenance Systems, Boost Mobile, Winning Appliances, Pure Scot Whisky and inurZONE.