Belfast racing driver Jack Young enjoyed his best weekend to-date in the TCR Europe series at the Circuit Zandvoort, scoring a sensational pole position on Saturday morning, which he converted into a first podium result later that day after an epic battle with local hero and Dutch social media star Tom Coronel.
On Sunday, he then secured a ninth-place finish, battling from the back of the field after being knocked wide early on, easily putting on a show of the most overtaking moves of the race in his Honda Civic Type R TCR. The 19-year-old had shown good pace in practice on Friday, setting the third fastest time before a sensational rainstorm washed out the rest of the day’s running.
Come Saturday morning, Young put his Civic on pole position with a fantastic time which looked almost completely safe, until a surprise last-minute improvement from Dutchman Tom Coronel saw him dropped to second. The team had sent Jack out for one more run, which proved crucial, with the time re-securing pole position by the slender margin of 81-thousandths of a second.
Young got away at the start as the Audis squabbled behind him, allowing him to make a bit of a break, but when Coronel gathered himself up and caught Young, there was no way of defending against the Audi’s top-line speed at the beach circuit, and Young had to settle for second, and also the Junior Trophy win – a fantastic result which would also be his first overall podium in the series.
On Sunday, Young would have to start tenth due to the reversed grid, and he made a steady start, soon passing Junior rival Nicolas Baert’s Audi. Young then had a run on the Hyundai of his other Junior rival Sami Taoufik, but ran wide on the marbles around the outside of the famous Schievlak corner, dropping to 18th.
From there, Young was on a mission, scything his way up the order to recover lost ground, passing a car per lap over the remainder of the race to secure ninth at the finish, and key points in the Trophy classification.
Jack Young said: “The pole position was pretty nervewracking. We had taken pole by nine-tenths, but then when Tom (Coronel) went out, we went out again as we knew he was a threat. He then grabbed pole so on my flying lap I was told I has to really push, and just managed to hook it up nicely. In Race 1, we had a flying start and got away a bit because something happened with the Audis, but then the pace of that Audi down the straight and around the corners, you just can’t fight it, especially with Tom around this, his home track. So I just knew when he caught me to let him go because I didn’t want to lose a top two position. I followed him as close as I could to see if he made a mistake, and I just had my own race.
“In Race 2 we managed to gain two positions before the safety car. We had a near-incident with Tom at Turn 3 when his car seemed to go in slow mode. We were running around the outside of Taoufik, and I just braked too late and got on the marbles, and once you get on those you’re just a goner. We managed to fight our way back into a top ten spot, which was good, but we were the fastest car on track and I think we could have got top three today, which is a bit annoying, but I’ll learn from this and take it forward to the next round at Spa. This is still a learning year for me, I’m still just in my first full year of TCR.”
NEXT ROUND: SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS (BE) – JULY 29-31