Melbourne racing driver Dylan Young has endured an incredibly unlucky weekend after running in the top three of all races at the Misano World Circuit in Italy during the Formula 3 Regional round of the Ultimate Cup Series from July 8-9.
As the only Australian in the field, Young was in a podium position in each race when he suffered a DNF retirement in Race 1 and drive through penalties in Race 2 and 3, putting to bed what would have been a superb weekend with three podiums in the bag.
Driving for French team Graff Racing, Dylan's talent was on display after some time out of the cockpit and he showed this by going P2 in the third practice session of the weekend.
Young then qualified in P4 and P5 after not stringing a proper lap together but it was clear from the get go of the weekend he was top three on pace amongst the field of 15 drivers and he showcased this with a great drive in Race 1 whilst challenging for 2nd place.
However with just a few laps to go and Young looking to strike for a 2nd place finish on the podium, his suspension failed and left him hobbling back to the pits where he had to retire the car.
In Race 2, Young made an incredible start and was the fastest car when the lights went out from the top 4. Young then went for a gap on the right side of Nico Prost, son of Formula One World Champion Alain Prost, with a view to hitting the lead by Turn 1 given his fast start off the line. However Prost was moving to the right to avoid the lead car, and this then pushed Young wide onto the grass where he was lucky to avoid the wall.
Dylan then dropped slightly down the order by Turn 1 after bouncing across the grass, but he set about moving up the order quickly with a slightly damaged car.
However as he moved into a podium position, Young was then given a drive through penalty with race control strangely accusing him of a dangerous start. Both Young and the Graff team were extremely disappointed for this not to have been reviewed after the race because the evidence and onboard footage would have shown Young had to run wide onto the grass to avoid contact with Prost.
Whilst the drive through penalty put Young back to 10th place, he showed incredible pace to fight back to P6 in the end but was disheartened after another podium was stripped from him.
The Race 3 grid is set by the finishing order of the previous races and therefore Young was given a challenge starting position from 11th on the grid after the DNF finish in Race 1 and drive through from Race 2.
With nothing to lose, he put on a spirited display and set about cutting his way through the field. After passing some cars off the line, he then went for a move on Lap 3 after the driver ahead left the door open. Young lunged up the inside and both he and the other driver collided when the other driver turned into the apex.
This then lost Dylan another position but he continued to fight and moved his way through the field, eventually passing his way up to 3rd place with incredible pace and setting an identical lap time to the eventual winner. Race Control had made no statement on the incident on Lap 3, but with just 2 laps to go, and Young heading for an amazing 3rd place finish from 11th on the grid, they made the decision to give Dylan another drive through penalty. Strangely again they chose not to look at evidence after the race and gave Young a drive through penalty on the spot. This left the Graff Racing team and Dylan incensed and bitterly disappointed as onboard footage seen after the race showed it was a racing incident and Young should have been left to finish in 3rd place.
The next round will take place at Hockenheim in Germany from September 16-18 and with the pace Young showed, both he and the team are fully focused on bouncing back after a luckless weekend in Misano.
Dylan Young: "Firstly, I'm really pleased with the pace I had this weekend after going in with so much less recent track time than those around me. We were up the pointy end and there's more to come at the next round. But obviously I'd be lying if I said I wasn't incredibly disappointed by how unlucky I was through the events that took place in each race. Racing is always tricky and you can be unlucky but every race we had something take away a podium. Again though, the main thing to focus on is that we were fast and in the top 3 in each race so I have to take away the many positives this weekend despite it being one of the unluckiest rounds I've ever had."
"I want to send big thank you to everyone at Graff Racing for all the support and all my partners for constantly believing in me! Let's bounce back at the next round!”