Melbourne racing driver Dylan Young will embark on a new challenge towards Le Mans as he enters the Ligier European Series for 2023.
Young, the 2019/20 MRF Challenge Formula 3 Vice Champion, will make the shift from open wheelers to sports prototype endurance racing and pilot the #5 Smart Driving Ligier JS P4 (LMP4).
After a successful test with the team in Italy earlier this month, Dylan will be back on track this weekend from July 14-15 at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France, home of the recent French Formula One Grand Prix.
Young will be the sole Australian in an international field of 19 cars and as is customary in endurance racing with drivers sharing the car, he will team up with young Moroccan Formula 4 driver Moulay El Alaoui in the all Pro Class.
After recently sampling the car for the first time, Young said he was optimistic at the challenge ahead after a career spent racing open-wheelers.
"We had a really solid test the other week in Italy and I was on the pace really quickly despite it being a new environment for me with a roof over my head for the first time. The car is heavier and you can feel the differences compared to what I'm used to but I felt I adapted really quickly which I'm pleased about."
"I'm stoked to be heading in this direction for my career though and am fully focused on a future in endurance racing with the goal of winning the Le Mans 24 hours and that journey starts now. I want to thank the Smart Driving Team for giving me this opportunity along with my backers and partners who are always by my side."
The Ligier JS P4 car that Dylan will be driving is powered by a 3.7 litre Ford V6 producing around 385bhp and Young will be using the remaining races this year as a stepping stone up into LMP3/2 machinery for the 2024 season.
This weekend's action at Paul Ricard will feature two x 40-minute practice sessions, two x 15-minute qualifying sessions and two x 1-hour races.