New Zealander Mike Young is realising a long-held ambition to compete in his home championship by entering the final 3 rounds of the 2021 New Zealand Rally Championship.
Young will team up with the regular co-driver Malcolm Read for the first event, this weekend’s third round the NZRC South Canterbury Rally. The pair will be driving the SAS team Subaru STi and after a test event in Central Otago last weekend Young is looking forward to driving the car.
"SAS have built a great car, its easily the fastest GRB Subaru I've ever driven. It handles really well, has a sequential (gear)box with Cusco diffs. It was good to be able to do the rallysprint as a test – we managed to get about 20kms in - enough to get used to the car and find a setup that suits my style”.
November 2020 was the last time Young drove competitively when he wrapped up the West Australian Rally Championship driving a similar shaped Subaru run by Maximum Motorsport. From 2013 – 2019 Young and Read drove for the Japanese based Cusco team in the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship and are the current FIA Asia Cup holders.
“I'm really looking forward to competing on my home championship, something I've always wanted to do. The New Zealand championship is one of the best in the world - its hugely competitive with any one of 12-15 drivers in good cars that can win. These are sprint events compared to Asia-Pacific rallies, but each has their own characteristics and challenges.”
The South Canterbury area is known for its fast-flowing gravel roads, but with recent heavy rain the surface is likely to be soft and slushy, with weather forecasters predicting a cold wet day.
The team is supported in 2021 by Cusco Japan, Dunlop Tyres, Go Logistics and APSMtv.