Australian open-wheeler racing driver Dylan Young successfully completed a one-day test with the Hilmer Motorsport GP3 Team, the official GP3 Team of the Sahara Force India Formula 1 Team at the Yas Marina Formula 1 Circuit in Abu Dhabi on November 28.
The test took place on the same Yas Marina F1 circuit layout just days after the final Grand Prix of the Formula One World Championship and the post-season Formula 1 test. Young had the challenging task of sampling a new car on a new circuit with unfamiliar Pirelli tyres on day 2 of the GP3 test, with the other drivers in the field having already got to grips with the GP3 car on day 1 and some of the drivers even being regulars in the GP3 Series with full seasons behind them in 2013 and 2014.
The GP3 car, with a 400bhp V6 engine has nearly double the power of Young’s current F3 style MRF car (210bhp) and it was the first time Young got behind the wheel of a bigger, more powerful single-seater.
With Pirelli’s GP3 tyre also degrading similarly like Formula 1, Young was improving steadily throughout the day but with only two sets of new rubber to play with, Young’s improvement would be in a constant battle against increasing tyre wear. Additionally, the morning session was hampered by Young discovering that the seat he made had actually led to him sitting far too low in the car and as a result he was having major difficulties seeing the apexes of the corners. Young laughed off the mishap, which for a driver standing 1.88m tall was a rare occurrence to be struggling to see over the steering wheel. The Hilmer Motorsport team were quick to find a solution and Young instantly began to chip away at his lap time as the afternoon session commenced.
Whilst Young’s lap time was not a match for the front-runners on day 2 of the test (fastest time set by a 2014 GP3 full season driver) due to him learning the car whilst the rest of the field marched on from having already driven the day before or having had a full season or two in the category, Young’s ability impressed the Hilmer Motorsport Team. He managed to post a lap time faster than what some of the regular GP3 drivers were posting in their practice and qualifying times at the 2013 and 2014 GP3 support events to the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix. In fact, Young’s lap time would have been the 8th fastest race lap during the last race of the 2014 GP3 Series held only days prior at the same track.
However, Young was quick to state that there was plenty of time left in the bank, especially on maximizing the performance of the Pirelli tyre which is where the really quick times were found by the tests front-runners. “I’m really happy at how the day went actually and have a massive smile on my face from getting the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a car with a pretty awesome performance base! The tyres were a bit tricky actually and overall I didn’t fully get on top of the tyre when we bolted a new set on at the end of the day. I was improving massively at the end of the day and unfortunately there was a red flag in the dying minutes due to another car stopping on track as I was about to go and push for 2 quick flying laps. I’m sure had I managed to get out before the red flag the time would have been much, much faster due to my rate of improvement in the final 30 minutes but that’s racing! At the end of the day, we weren’t there to focus on lap times too much because we knew the car would be a pretty big shock to me and it’s clear to see where the time is to be found, it was more about focusing on my rate of improvement. It’s just about managing that much power out of a lot of the stop-go corners on what is a very long lap with many corners around Yas Marina and also trusting the increased downforce so now I’m just mega excited and pumped to work hard to ensure I can get back in this car soon in 2015. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my team of investors and sponsors who have been so important for my 2014 season and getting me to this test and also the Hilmer Motorsport Team for all their support during the test.”
As a result of Young’s successful test, he has been made an offer by the Hilmer Motorsport Team, the official GP3 Team of the Sahara Force India Formula 1 Team for the 2015 GP3 Series, which will race at 9 Formula 1 Grand Prix’s with a total of 18 races in Europe and Abu Dhabi.