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Life in the Fast Lane

Life in the Fast Lane

MOTORSPORT: Longer term Phuket residents, particularly those of a motorsports persuasion, may well recall the name Dylan Young.

By Ben Tirebuck

Saturday 21 August 2021, 10:30AM

Dylan spent several years living here with his family between 2010-2014 and frequently made the headlines with his racing exploits, most notably when he signed on to compete in the 2013 MRF Challenge Formula 2000 Championship which ran alongside multiple F1 Grand Prix’s in the support categories under the watchful eyes of Formula One (F1) team bosses.

He has since relished in the challenge of going up against the world’s best. He was team mates with Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher, during the 2016/2017 MRF Challenge Championship and who is now racing in F1 for Haas.

Dylan has also competed against the likes of Harrison Newey, son of Red Bull F1 designer Adrian Newey, former F1 driver Daniil Kvyat and current F1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr. of Ferrari who recently finished 3rd place in the Hungarian Grand Prix behind World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

Dylan had raced in the highly competitive 2019/2020 MRF Challenge Formula 3 Championship where he secured 2nd place in the drivers standings. As the only Australian in the field he stormed home with three wins and nine podiums across the 15 race international season including victory in Bahrain where he finished ahead of David Schumacher, son of former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher. Dylan fell just short of securing the title from Belgium’s Michelangelo Amendola despite winning the final race of the Championship in Chennai in February, 2020.

Euro adventure

More recently Dylan secured a partnership with renowned French auto team Graff Racing to compete in the Formula 3 Ultimate Cup Series in Europe.

Everyone always wants to make a good impression in their first day at work but Dylan took it one step further. In fact several steps further as, on the weekend of July16-18, he delivered a stunning debut performance with three podiums at the Paul Ricard F1 Circuit, the venue that recently hosted the French Formula One Grand Prix. A truly incredible bow for his new team.

Driving the F3 Tatuus T-318 powered by a Renault engine, he finished with a P3 in races 1 and 2 before clinching 2nd place in the final race of the weekend out of a field of 19 drivers. He also achieved the fastest lap time in race 3, passing Nico Prost, former Lotus Renault F1 reserve driver and son of four-time Formula One World Champion Alain Prost, during the opening lap on the way to P2.

As the only Australian in the Championship, Dylan’s performance raised eyebrows amongst the paddock due to the fact he had been out of race action since Februrary 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite absolutely zero testing or action since clinching the ’19/20 MRF Challenge Vice Championship in February of last year, he drove like an absolute champion.

“Overall I’m pretty happy with the weekend,” Dylan said post-race in somewhat modest fashion.

UWC Thailand

“Due to COVID-19, I was out of a seat since February last year with no driving so I think we showed a pretty strong performance for this weekend with a podium in each race. Especially the last race with P2 where it was fun to have some fights on track and get fastest lap.

“I want to send a big thank you to all the team at Graff for giving me such a great car with no issues all weekend. My engineer Antoine and mechanic Sylvain were absolutely awesome and I think now the aim is to push for race wins from the next event.

“I’m over the moon to be getting back on track after the mess of 2020. To say I’m pumped is an understatement,” he added.

Pascal Rauturier, Team Manager at Graff Racing was understandably delighted with his new recruit’s performance and is looking to the future with confidence: “In collaboration with the team, all our drivers have shown great performance all the week end. Congratulations to Dylan for the three podiums and the best time in race 3.”

Next up are events events in Le Mans, France (September), Magny Cours, France (October) and Estoril, Portugal (November).

Aussie battler’

Crucially, Dylan is a rare example of a driver who is competing without financial backing from family. This has demanded enormous character, hunger and drive to endure the financial and emotional obstacles that have been presented over the years. Yet Dylan’s relentless pursuit has seen him become one of Australia’s most marketable drivers as he has successfully built a team of investors and Australian brands who together are sharing in his journey. As his website states, Dylan personifies the Aussie battler.

With the blistering start to his European adventure with Graff, expect Dylan to be a man in demand as race teams from across the world take notice and express interest in chasing his services. International racing options via the likes of the renowned Indy Car, the Le Mans 24 hours & FIA World Endurance Championship are almost certain to come his way.

It is great to see Dylan’s career continue to flourish and extra special to know that his time in Phuket has contributed to his success – long may it continue!

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