Melbourne racing driver, Dylan Young had a weekend full of highs and lows during Round 3 of the 2016/2017 MRF Challenge held at the Buddh Formula 1 Circuit in New Delhi, India from January 27-29.
Young’s weekend started positively as he bolted out of the gates in qualifying, briefly going quickest of anyone on his third flying lap before again going fastest in the first sector on his next flying lap. After dropping down to third, Young had a heavy crash into the wall whilst pushing to get back onto the front row of the grid on his fourth lap.
Dylan was briefly taken to the medical centre with badly bruised knees following the impact but the major damage was to his race car which unfortunately couldn’t be repaired in time for the opening race.
Despite the crash, Young’s early lap time still ended up in 9th on the grid even after all the other drivers put new tyres on after his crash so he was bitterly disappointed to miss out on what potentially could have been a top 3 qualifying result. The Race 1 result then cements the grid order for Race 2 and sets the tone for all four races of the weekend. The domino effect meant Young would have to start at the back of the grid for Race 2 after sitting on the sidelines for Race 1.
Dylan’s mechanics worked frantically to repair his MRF Formula 3 car for Race 2 and just made the cut off time after a brilliant effort from all involved. Young got his customary good start off the line and immediately gained places to move up to 9th place. However, on lap 3 his car had a fuel pressure problem and Young lost all power and had to retire from the race, ending a miserable day.
The last day was a completely different affair as Young finished strongly in the points. Celebrating his birthday, Dylan finished in 9th place in Race 3 and 7th place in Race 4, coming from close to the back of the grid in both races to pass a handful of cars and restore some of the damage from the previous races.
Impressively, Dylan has scored points in every race he has finished this year, highlighting his race craft.
“I’ve got pretty mixed feelings after this round,” said Young.
“Pace wise I think in qualifying I was looking at setting up my best round for the Championship so far and we were looking at a top 5 or even top 3 result. We were thinking about pitting the lap before I had the crash as I’d already banked a quick lap in the top 3 and then we could have put a new set of tyres on to really attack. Hindsight is a wonderful thing though and obviously I decided to keep pushing and got a little bit too excited on the loud pedal and lost the rear and had a pretty big shunt.”
“I can’t help think about how well my weekend could have been set up from qualifying but that’s racing sometimes. So the first day was definitely one of the most frustrating times I can remember and so I’m really happy to have bounced back on the last day in difficult circumstances to pass my way back into the points. Now I’m just itching to get back out there for the next round and get back on it!”
“I also want to thank all my team and the guys at JA Motorsport who worked so hard to get the car out for Race 2.”
The MRF Challenge travels to Chennai in India for the final four races of the 16-race calendar in two weeks from 17-19 February 2017.