Belfast Telegraph

Rising Star joy a timely boost for Young after his on-track woes

Jack Young
Jack Young

By Sammy Hamill

He has harshly been labelled the bad boy of the UK Renault Clio Cup, but Jack Young has his supporters, including the elite British Racing Drivers' Club.

The 17-year-old Methodist College student, who will be back in action at Knockhill in Scotland this weekend, took time out from the start of his A-Level studies to travel to the BRDC headquarters at Silverstone to be told he had been chosen to be part of their Rising Stars programme.

And he fitted in a trip to Hockenheim to get acquainted with the Renault Megane RS he has been invited to drive in the Touring Car Racing Europe series in Barcelona next week.

"This is an immediate step up in performance from my Clio, so I expect the learning curve to be steep," said Young. "There was no way I was going to miss this opportunity to mix it up with the big boys in the TCR series.

"My focus now is to get to know the new car and my new team as quickly as possible. There is a lot of work to be done between now and the end of September in Barcelona and I'm itching to get started."

His selection for the Rising Stars programme proved a boost in the wake of on-track troubles.

"I'm not sure which has been more stressful, waiting for my exam results or facing the BRDC interview. Luckily both worked out perfectly," said Young, who has been up before the race stewards a number of times.

He has been stripped of three victories for over-aggressive driving, which cost him the lead in the UK Clio Cup series, and he was also denied the second part of a double win at the German Grand Prix meeting for exceeding track limits in the summer.

But, encouraged by his BRDC selection and the support of Renault Racing, Young insists he will continue to "race to win" as the UK series enters the closing stages of the season.

He will be in action at the Scottish circuit this weekend in a meeting which also features his fellow Ulster drivers Colin Turkington and Chris Smylie.

Despite a difficult trio of races last time out at Thruxton, Turkington still holds a 30-point lead at the top of the British Touring Car Championship standings and, after a four-week break, is "buzzing" to get back into the thick of the action at Knockhill, where he has been a serial winner in the past.

"Spending time away from the sport and enjoying time with the kids was just what I needed. Now I'm buzzing to get going again and feel re-energised," said the three-time champion from Portadown.

He is being chased in the table by his West Surrey Racing BMW team-mate Andrew Jordan, with the Hondas of Dan Cammish and Josh Cook next in line.

With the Porsche Carrera Cup skipping Knockhill, leader Daniel Harper has a weekend off.

Meanwhile, Kris Meeke, making his first appearance in Rally Turkey, was quickest through the rocky shakedown test ahead of last night's start in Marmaris. His Toyota Yaris was a second faster than the Hyundais of Andreas Mikkelsen and Thierry Neuville.

"It was really rough towards the end, so we only did three passes as we wanted to try to preserve the car. It's tough, and we know it's going to be like that in the rally," said Meeke.

"I hope we can have a clean run and see the big rocks coming for us. It's gong to be the toughest challenge of the year for the car and crews in these temperatures."

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