Melbourne racing driver Dylan Young has had an up and down weekend in Hockenheim but finished the round with extremely strong pace during the Formula 3 Regional action of the Ultimate Cup Series from September 15-17.
Young, the sole Australian in the field, finished the three races at the iconic German circuit in P6 (Race 1), P7 (Race 2) and P6 (Race 3) out of 20 drivers. In the final race Dylan was lapping as one of the fastest cars on track, clocking the third fastest lap time and quicker than the likes of regular rival Nico Prost, son of Formula One World Champion Alain Prost.
Despite his strong pace, the weekend got off to a tricky start for the Aussie in the first practice session. In wet conditions which saw several red flags and drivers running off track, Dylan locked a brake in the famous stadium section and ended up in the barriers, mimicking Sebastian Vettel's incident at the exact same corner from the 2018 German Grand Prix.
Whilst Dylan was unharmed, the damage meant Young missed all of free practice 2 and some of free practice 3 whilst the Graff team worked hard to repair the car.
Young then did a commendable job to qualify in P6 in mixed conditions with barely any running. For Race 1, the heavens opened and it was extremely wet which saw the race start behind the safety car. The safety car returned mid race with cars sliding off into the wall and with passing opportunities extremely difficult, Dylan brought the car home in 6th place.
In Race 2 Dylan had a strong start and was looking to go up the inside of Prost at Turn 3. However the leader ran wide and came back onto the racing line which forced Young to brake and lose 4 positions in the process. Dylan was much faster than the cars ahead but was struggling to find a way past in the dirty air before the safety car was brought out. On the restart Young again went on the attack but despite being visibly quicker it was proving difficult to overtake. However on the last lap Young made a lunge from a long way back to finish in 7th place after losing out at the start.
Dylan got another strong start in Race 3 and was looking to move into 4th place. But in nearly identical scenes to Race 2, Young had to come off throttle with a car coming back onto the racing line slowly and lost a couple of places. Young then got caught in a tight battle for the next few laps which saw the leading pack ahead pull away. However once Dylan cleared that battle he started putting in quick lap after quick lap, consistently lapping faster than the cars ahead. Young's pace was enough for a podium and he finished with the third fastest lap but had to settle for 6th place.
The next round will take place at the Magny Cours Circuit in France from October 7-9 where Young will be looking to bounce back onto the podium.
Dylan Young: "There's no denying the fact that this weekend didn't go to plan. But I'm always taking the positives and again, the pace at the end of the weekend showed I should have been back on the podium. Unlike the other guys it was the first time driving this car in the wet so that took some adjusting but I'm really pleased at how we worked our way through things. I made a small mistake in FP1 which meant it was always going to be an uphill battle from there but that's racing and these things happen. So the main thing is we finished on a really fast note and we just have to carry that pace forward into qualifying to ensure we are staying out of trouble at the starts. I'm looking forward to Magny Cours because I qualified 3rd there last year so I'll be hoping for a strong weekend".
"I also want to send big thank you to everyone at Graff Racing for all their support along with all my partners for backing me in!"