Melbourne racing driver Dylan Young has taken his third win of the season to finish as runner up and secure a strong 2nd place in the 2019/2020 MRF Challenge Formula 3 Drivers Championship.
The final round of the season took place at the MMRT Circuit in Chennai, India from February 14-16 to complete a gruelling 15-race calendar.
Young won the final race of the weekend with a dominant display, leading all the way from pole position until the chequered flag. It concluded an extremely successful weekend for the Australian with 4 podiums across the 6 races. Dylan (223 points) fell just short of securing the title from Belgium's Michelangelo Amendola (247 points) but blitzed ahead of the chasing pack to comfortably finish as the season's runner up with Britain's Josh Mason in third place on 176 points.
It was a close fought battle between Amendola and Young all season with both of them taking home 9 podiums each across the 15 races. However, Amendola managed 5 wins out of those podiums to Young's 3. Young was widely regarded as more consistent, having been the only driver to win at each circuit the category visited whereas Amendola started and finished the season strongly, albeit with a mid season form slump in Bahrain.
The opening practice sessions for the final round saw Young and Amendola trade fastest laps with the Belgian fastest in Free Practice 1 but Dylan finishing as the fastest man on track in Free Practice 2.
Young encountered traffic in qualifying and had to settle for third and fourth on the grid with the other four races starting grids determined by the finishing positions of the previous races. It put Young on the back foot with Dylan finishing in 2nd (Race 1), 4th (Race 2) and 2nd (Race 3) for Saturday's races.
Dylan then required a dominant final day to bring the title home but despite winning the final race of the weekend, damage in the penultimate race of the Championship for the Australian put his Championship hopes to bed. He finished Sunday's final races in 3rd (Race 4), 6th (Race 5) after being hit from behind at the start which left him nursing a damaged car home, before securing a comfortable win in the final race of the season.
Young started on pole for the final race of the Championship and whilst he knew he was a lock for 2nd in the title, he wanted to remind everyone of what could have been and therefore stormed off the line to gain a formidable lead. He then controlled the gap for the entire race to ease home for his third win of the season.
Dylan's attention now turns to finalising opportunities both locally and across the globe. He is hoping his international form as the only Australian in the Championship will pave the way to generate support from Australian companies so he can line up on the grid at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in the new single seater V8 S5000 category and continue on from there for a 2020 European campaign.
Quotes from Dylan:
"I'm really proud to finish 2nd in such a competitive international category. I gave it my all to win the title but unfortunately we just fell short. That said, I've beaten drivers with much more resources and support and that gives me a huge confidence boost that I can fight at the front in any category if I can have the opportunity from companies to support my 2020 season. It was a tough fight with Michelangelo all season and overall getting taken out whilst in third in Dubai and then going from 1st to 3rd on the last lap in Bahrain have proved costly as without those blips in the season I would have taken the Championship win by a point. But that's racing and I'm so happy to have bagged 9 podiums across the 15 races and importantly take a win at each venue as I felt we were really consistent and that's also thanks to my mechanics and engineers".
"I really want to thank Danny, Sam, Les and Surendran for all the support on my car and especially everyone in my corner including my fantastic team of corporate partners & investors who believe in me. Hopefully this repays the faith they've shown in me and we can keep the momentum rolling for 2020. I can't wait to hopefully announce some plans shortly!"
Dylan Young was proudly supported throughout his MRF Challenge campaign by:
The A Team Property Group, Hunter Hopkins, Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat, IntelliTrac, Bizzow, ORCA, Besser + Co Estate Agents, Forum Group, Designsport, SEEK, UMS, Last Lap Media, Airly, Fuelco, Winning Appliances, Pure Scot Whisky, Grip Auto, Rolld and inurZONE.