Melbourne racing driver Dylan Young has delivered a stunning performance with three podiums on debut at the Paul Ricard F1 Circuit in the Formula 3 Regional category of the Ultimate Cup Series last weekend from July 16-18.
Young finished with a P3 in Race 1 and Race 2 before clinching 2nd place in the final race of the weekend out of a field of 19 drivers. He also achieved the fastest lap time in Race 3, passing Nico Prost, former Lotus Renault Formula 1 Reserve Driver and son of four-time Formula One World Champion Alain Prost, during the opening lap on the way to P2.
The performance raised eyebrows amongst the paddock due to the fact Young had been out of a race car due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with absolutely zero testing, since February 2020 after clinching the '19/20 MRF Challenge Vice Championship.
As the only Australian in the Championship, Dylan started the weekend on the pace and was straight away into P5 during practice. As he got used to the car he managed to secure P3 in qualifying, just 0.5s from pole position around the 5.822km circuit that recently hosted the French Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Race 1 and 2 were similar with Young not getting the best of starts and placing P3 in both races, and whilst never threatened from behind, he didn't manage to put enough pressure on the top 2. However, as Young got more confident with the new car, and after a nights sleep to think about how to maximise the performance for the final race day, he managed to get off the line with a strong start in Race 3. He immediately placed huge pressure on Prost and the pair battled for half of the opening lap before Young ultimately forced his way past. From there he managed to extend the gap and set the fastest lap of the race but was unfortunately unable to chase down the leader on his way to P2.
Given the rest of the drivers in the field had been racing throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic and had a wealth of experience with the car and the circuit, Young and the Graff team were extremely pleased with the results and believe race wins are on the horizon from the next round at Le Mans in September.
Dylan Young: "Overall I’m pretty happy with the weekend! Due to Covid I was out of a seat since February last year with no driving so I think we showed a pretty strong performance for this weekend with a podium in each race. Especially the last race with P2 where it was fun to have some fights on track and get fastest lap. I want to send a big thank you to all the team at Graff for giving me such a great car with no issues all weekend. My engineer Antoine and mechanic Sylvain were absolutely awesome and I think now the aim is to push for race wins from the next event!
Pascal Rauturier, Team Manager: "We had five F3R this week end on the Paul Ricard track. Two new drivers Dylan Young and Loris Kyburz joined the team this week end. They went with Jacopo D’Amato, Théo Vaucher and Eric Trouillet. In collaboration with the team, all our drivers have shown great performance all the week end. Congratulations to Dylan for the three podiums and the best time in race 3!