Australian racing driver Dylan Young delivered a much stronger result in Round 2 of the 2015 MRF Challenge Championship in support of the FIA World Endurance Championship event at the Bahrain Formula 1 Circuit from November 19-20.
Young managed to clinch a best result of eighth place for the weekend, finishing just half a car length behind seventh place. However, a review of the result shows Young should have been gifted seventh after being passed under yellow flags two laps prior to the chequered flag.
In first practice Young set the eighth-fastest lap, less than 0.1 seconds shy of sixth. Whilst many predicted improved track conditions for qualifying, the field of 18 cars were in for a shock when they ventured out to set their qualifying laps under the lights. The cooler conditions proved difficult with the lap times ultimately being slower than the morning practice session. Young was caught out with a spin on his first flying lap that greatly hampered his tyres and meant he couldn’t capitalize on a tightly fought session, eventually dropping to twelfth.
However, a great start in Race 1 saw Dylan move up the field by Turn 1 and enter a race-long fight with Harrison Newey, Max Fewtrell and Sam Dejonghe. Young made a move on Newey with two laps to go for seventh place, slipstreaming up the pit straight before backing out of the move after seeing waved yellow flags into the braking zone of Turn 1.
Upon reviewing the video, however, it was noted that Young was ahead along the pit straight prior to the first yellow flag and therefore should have been elevated to seventh in the final classification. Nevertheless, Dylan almost managed to snatch the place in a drag race to the chequered flag that saw him finish just half a car length behind Newey.
Starting from eighth place for Race 2 which was set under the lights, Young made yet another strong start off the line to jump up to seventh place by Turn 1. He was then unlucky to have to brake heading into Turn 2 to avoid hitting the rear of two drivers ahead and was then jumped by others around him on the long run up to Turn 4.
This time, his fortunes didn’t change as Tarun Reddy and Tatiana Calderon clashed directly in front of him and Young had to come to a near standstill to avoid T-boning Reddy. He lost multiple positions by being stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time and the scrappy first lap dropped him from seventh in Turn 2 to thirteenth. From there, Dylan managed to pass his way back up to a fight with tenth-placed Max Fewtrell but when making a move into the first two corners, the pair clashed wheels and Young lost ground before having to claw his way back to finish just shy of another top ten position in eleventh place.
“I think we made some pretty strong ground this weekend,” Young reflected.
“I had some really good fights and a lot of fun in the races and our pace shows we should have been much further up in qualifying. Ultimately I felt I had the best pace of the weekend in Race 2 but I was just really unlucky to be caught out on the first lap but had we got through cleanly I think we would have been fighting for a possible top-six finish.
“After a lot of time out of a seat this year I feel I’m making some good gains with my engineer and it’s just putting all the pieces of the puzzle together to keep pushing towards the front and I feel we’re in good stead to attack even more next month in Dubai! I want to thank all my sponsors for believing in me along with MRF & JA Motorsport.”
The series heads to the Dubai Autodrome for Round 3 and Races 7-10 on December 17-19 before the Championship finale concludes at the MMRT Circuit in India from January 29-31, 2016.
Text via Dylan Young, Image via Aditya Bedre (MRF)