Melbourne racing driver, Dylan Young has produced a stunning opening round of the 2017/2018 MRF Challenge Championship.
After being out of a race car for nearly nine months, Young stormed to third position at the chequered flag in the opening race of the season. The championship was held in support of the FIA World Endurance Championship at the Bahrain F1 Circuit from November 16-18.
After a 3rd place in Race 1, Young went on to claim 7th in Race 2 and 6th for Race 3 before damage on the opening lap of Race 4 forced him to retire.
Young's weekend started strongly with 7th place in qualifying out of an international field of 18 drivers from 13 countries.
Young's traditionally fast starts saw him bolt from 7th on the grid to 3rd by the first turn in the opening race. GP3 driver Julien Falchero made a lunge to take 3rd place from Dylan but the Australian immediately stole the place back with a cut back move before the following corner.
The Race 2 grid was formed with the top 6 from Race 1 in reverse order, with Young lining up in 4th place. However, Dylan's strong starts would finally come to an end and he stalled on the grid as the lights went out, dropping him to last before turn 1.
A strong fight back ensued and Young carved his way through the field to steal 7th place with a bold move into turn 1 with just over a lap to go.
Young begun the final day of action with another strong start in Race 3, jumping from 7th up to 6th at the first turn. After flat spotting his tyres, Dylan then held 6th for the entire race after a close battle with those just behind.
Aiming to end the weekend on a high, Young was unfortunately caught in the middle of bunch of cars at Turn 1 of the final race. Contact was made between Young's front left tyre and Henning Enqvist's right rear tyre with the Swede being sent into a roll over.
Dylan was forced to retire with damage at the following corner but with a strong showing has left the first round 6th out of 18 in the Championship standings.
"I'm absolutely over the moon to grab a podium in Race 1," Young said.
"Most people by now know I don't have the budgets of the European drivers and have not competed all year like the other drivers in the Championship so I'm really proud of my performance. It's a huge boost going into the next round in Dubai. I want to thank my engineer Danny and my mechanic Les along with all the other MRF guys who help put together a great car so I could put my head down and get on with the job."
"Overall it was a really strong weekend. I'm a little upset with my kangaroo hop and stall in Race 2 as my lap times should have seen me fighting for another podium had I got off the line well and not dropped to the back of the field. Other than that missed opportunity I'm stoked to take home some silverware and I hope we can build on this for the next races!"
Races 5-8 of the 2017 MRF Challenge Championship will take place at the Dubai Autodrome (December 7-9) with Races 9-12 the following week at the Yas Marina F1 Circuit in Abu Dhabi (December 13-15). The final 4 races will take place on February 2-4 at the MMRT Circuit in Chennai, India.
Dylan Young is proudly supported throughout his 2017/2018 MRF Challenge campaign by:
Platypus, IntelliTrac, Entourage Finance, Besser + Co Estate Agents, Forum Enviro, SKINS, Powertoolz, Vista Eyes, Designsport, Urban Maintenance Systems, SEEK, Hi Voltage Karts, Melbourne Watch Company and Evado Studios.