Belfast Telegraph

Young looks to France after penalty heartbreak

Not happy: Jack Young feels hard done by after his penalty
Not happy: Jack Young feels hard done by after his penalty

By Sammy Hamill

Jack Young is back in France, where he scored his first major Renault Clio success six months ago. However, he is still smarting after believing he was robbed of victory in the latest round of the UK Cup series.

The 17-year-old Methodist College student stepped up as champion from the Renault Junior Championship at the end of last season to win the Clio Cup International final at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France and he is back there this weekend for the Clio Cup Open, one of the events supporting the F1 French Grand Prix.

Young will take on a field of some 50 Renault drivers from across Europe as leader of the UK Clio Cup Championship. But he believes his advantage at the top of the standings should be greater after he 'won' the second of two races at the Croft circuit in Yorkshire last weekend.

Making his debut appearance at the track, he topped the time sheets on Friday's practice in his newly Eddie Stobart-liveried Clio, but was pipped to pole position by only two hundredths of a second in a thrilling cat and mouse qualifying session with arch rival Max Coates.

Young went on to finish in second place in torrential rain in race one on Saturday but it was race two on Sunday which provided all the drama.

He was involved in a gripping duel with Coates before Young made an audacious move to take the lead. He crossed the line ahead of the field having set the fastest lap and a new race lap record. But then he was handed a 10-second penalty for allegedly "creeping" at the start, demoting him to fourth place.

Young is convinced the race officials were wrong.

"I was heartbroken to find out about the penalty after such an amazing race," he said. "I'm certain I didn't creep on the line and when you watch it back most people support my argument."

Meanwhile, the Irish touring cars return to the Kirkistown race circuit tomorrow for the 500 Club's mid-season meeting.

After back-to-back wins in March, Ciaran Denvir is the man to beat as he renews his rivalry with fellow Downpatrick driver Andrew Armstrong.

The meeting, featuring all the regular classes including Formula Ford, starts at 11.30am.

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