Michael Young has managed to secure third overall at the International Rally of Queensland, the second round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship, despite difficult conditions that saw the cancellation of four stages on Sunday afternoon.
The 23-year-old from New Zealand battled through the ever-changing slippery conditions, on roads that, even in ideal conditions, are notorious for being tricky to get his podium place behind the two much-faster Skoda Fabia R5’s.
At the end of the event, Young said: “We had a pretty good rally actually. It was really tough out there but we’re happy to make it through while being quite fast too which I’m obviously happy about. The pace we had all weekend was good and the podium result we got reflected that.”
“Although, in saying that, it was disappointing to see Nathan [Quinn] drop back because of his issues. We were having a really good battle with him and both Malcolm [Read] and I enjoyed it.”
Young also admitted that his co-driver, Malcolm Read from Hamilton had an equally tough job because of the constant change of pace, and amendments to the pace-notes, schedule and rally route.
“Malcolm [Read] was just awesome all weekend, and credit to him. He was always on the ball which is really important, especially on a rally like this where it’s slow, then fast, then slow again. He did a really good job at keeping me under control,” explained Young.
Rally organisers were forced to cancel four stages on Sunday afternoon due to the inclement weather, much to the relief of many competitors including Young.
“You never know what could have happened out there on the stages so it’s better to make that kind of decision early and keep every safe. I respect the decision they [organisers] made,” said Young.
Other than the stage cancellations, Young and Read had no other major issues and said the Cusco prepared EZY Racing Subaru Impreza was faultless all weekend, which again contributed to their success.
“The car was awesome. It was set up really well and I was happy with how it handled… it gave me confidence even in the wet conditions. It’s obviously hard going against [Skoda] R5 cars but I think we showed we’ve got speed.
“Although we made the wrong tyre choice on Saturday morning, it all worked out in the end and our Dunlop tyres really made a huge difference earlier today [Sunday].”
The young Kiwi duo also wanted to thank both Cusco and EZY Racing for their unwavering support in their quest for an international championship.
“We really have to thank all the guys from Cusco and EZY Racing. Cusco gave me a perfect car, and the guys from EZY Racing came all the way down here to support us and watch the rally. We wouldn’t be able to do this without them,” said Young.
The next round of the APRC is new venue for 2016 at the China Rally, held in Zhangye, West China which sits near the Mongolian border.
Young’s campaign is supported by Cusco, EZY Racing, Dunlop, Dreams India, Yoda Rally, Verandah Apartments and KOS Sunglasses.