Jack Young, the 17 yr-old student from Belfast, made the transition from Renault Clio to Touring Car Series (TCR) Europe look deceptively easy as he took a pair of 4th place finishes in the Championship at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain over the weekend.
Making an impressive TCR debut behind the wheel of the Vukovic Motorsport Renault Megane, Young demonstrated a combination of natural speed and maturity around the Barcelona circuit. Despite competing at the Spanish track for the first time, Jack slotted into the International 35 car series with ease, and in doing so has reinforced Renault’s belief in the BRDC Rising Star.
“I really wasn’t sure what to expect this weekend,” suggested Jack “especially when I’d only tested the car for half a day and had to get to grips with learning the circuit in both wet and dry conditions. I was facing some of the best touring car drivers in Europe and didn’t know where I would fare. Even small operations were a big change like in the Megane I had to get used to having a gear stick, instead of my paddle shifters! It was a lot of learning but a lot of fun. Once you get a taste for battling at the front in this level of competition it’s where you want to be.”
The partnership of Young with the Vukovic Motorsport Team has been a positive step forward with the development of the Megane as they celebrated their best results of the season by far. Despite difficult and changeable conditions during Saturday’s qualifying, the Northern Irish teenager went on to wow the paddock with two top ten qualifying positions, P8 for race 1 and P3 for race 2.
Race 1 on Saturday took place on a drying track and Jack wasted no time in moving up from 8th to 6th place in the opening laps. He held this position comfortably and picked up a further 2 places in the closing stages following Stewarts investigations on the drivers in front. Jack started from P3 in the second race and quickly slotted into a steady pace to hold that place for much of the race. He was finally caught by Championship contender Julien Briche towards the end of the race and sensibly Young took his second 4th place finish of the weekend.
“Despite having no real expectations for the weekend because it was all new to me, things worked out pretty well. I’m so pleased for everyone involved in making this opportunity a reality and I’ve really enjoyed the experience.”
He will now head back to the UK for the final 2 rounds of the Renault UK Clio Cup with the added confidence of this successful International experience. It’s been a very busy and exciting season for the teenage rising star with further opportunities on the horizon.
CIRCUIT DE BARCELONA – CATALUNYA
Qualifying: P8 & P3
Race 1: P4
Race 2: P4
CLIO CUP UK
Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th September 2019