Australian racing driver Dylan Young had his best round of the 2015 MRF Challenge Championship at the Dubai Autodrome from December 17-19. Young managed to secure a strong 6th place finish in Race 2 of the weekend out of highly competitive international field of 16 drivers.
As the sole Australian on the grid, Young also backed up his 6th place finish with other points finishes including a 7th place finish in Race 4 of the weekend and a 9th place finish in the opening race of the round.
It was the first time almost all of the MRF Challenge drivers had visited the 5.39km long Dubai Autodrome circuit and its fast flowing nature with banked corners quickly made its mark with many of the drivers declaring it their favourite track of the Championship so far.
Young was strong during both practice sessions, finishing just 0.5s away from 2nd place over a 2 minute long lap in a tightly competitive field.
In Race 1, Dylan lost places at the start through turns 1 & 2 and had to spend the race regaining places, ultimately finishing in the points in 9th place after coming out on top in a tight battle with 10th placed finisher Giuliano Alesi, the son of former Ferrari Formula 1 driver Jean Alesi.
In Race 2 Young got a much stronger start before the red flags were brought out due to a heavy accident at the rear of the grid, forcing the race to be restarted. In a shortened race after the restart, Young finished in 6th place, just shy of 5th placed current championship leader Pietro Fittipaldi.
Young’s continual rise up the grid in each race was halted in Race 3 however when he hit the wall heavily on lap 3. The cause of the accident is presumed to be from a dusty exit kerb or more likely a suspected punctured tyre. The crash resulted in Dylan being sent to the medical centre with bruising & numbness to both knees but despite some pain, Young was declared fit to race in the final race of the round and the JA Motorsport & MRF team did an outstanding job to prepare a spare car in time for the last race given the substantial damage to Dylan’s no. 3 car.
Impressively, in a new car and having to start from the back of the grid after the accident, Young fought his way up to 7th place in Race 4 to solidify a strong weekend of consistent points finishes.
Dylan was pleased with his overall performance, commenting, “I feel I’m starting to get back up to speed quicker & quicker with each round after having so many months out of the seat this year. My engineer handed me a really well balanced car but the grid is so competitive however we are chipping away at that top 5 against the really strong drivers from Europe. It was unfortunate to have that accident in Race 3 as given the position I was in at the time I hit the wall and ultimately looking at the laptimes, I was targeting a 6th placed finish in that race like the previous race which would have given me pole position in the reverse grid race in the afternoon but it wasn’t to be. I can’t thank my engineer & mechanics at JA Motorsport & MRF enough for working their asses off to get me out for the last race and it was nice to climb right up the field. Now I can enjoy the break over Christmas and really get ready to take another step again for the final 4 races in India next month. Once again I also want to thank all my sponsors & it was great to finish the 2015 calendar year on a strong note!”
Dylan’s 2015 season is supported by Melbourne Deluxe Property as a major sponsor with support sponsors including IntelliTrac, Besser & Co Estate Agent, Fillr, the Melbourne Watch Company, Secure Parking & Original Mobiles.
The series heads to the final round for races 11-14 on January 29-31 2016 at the MMRT Circuit in India.
The MRF Challenge Formula 2000 Championship is considered to be the fastest one make single seater championship across Asia and the Middle East. The Formula 3 equivalent car is designed by Italian firm Dallara who is the largest racing car manufacturer in the world. The MRF Formula 2000 car is powered by a 2.0 litre 210 BHP Renault Sport Engine that propels the drivers to racing speeds of up to 250km/h.