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VIDEO: Brothers Grimes grill Phuket’s Dylan Young



PHUKET: Young karters Ben and Sam Grimes, who compete in the 125cc Junior Class in the Rotax Asia Max Challenge (AMC) in Malaysia and the Thai Championships, recently interviewed racing driver Dylan Young about his career.

The interview was the perfect opportunity for Dylan to pass on some of his experience to the brothers and for Ben and Sam to get some advice and tips to help them in what could be a very promising career in motor sport.

Grimes Brothers: What racing series are you competing in and what is your goal for the season?
Dylan Young: I am currently in MRF Formula 2000 which is very similar to formula 3. The races are held this year in Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.

I would like to finish in the top three of the championship and I will be looking to start testing in June or July. That’s the tough thing about being based on Phuket – there is no race track for me to practice on. I have a simulator and I see you guys have a simulator, which is good prep when you can’t get out and practice.

When did you first get interested in racing?
I became interested when I was about six, after my dad took me the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. I was hooked straight away by the noise and speed but it was a long time until I could actually start karting.

I wanted to start karting when I was about 12 but my school wasn’t very lenient about me taking time off. So it wasn’t until I was about 16 or 17 years old that I started.

How often do you train in a week and how important is fitness?
I spend six days a week training. A lot of it is aerobic, strength training and a little work on the neck. Fitness training is very important and it’s something that can give you the edge over other drivers. I am a night time trainer and I tend to do my runs at sunset. I do about two hours of weights and running.

Do you see yourself as an aggressive driver like Lewis Hamilton or a smooth driver like Jenson Button?
We analyzed this in Formula BMW in 2011. I had a teammate who was very aggressive but I have been told that I am quite smooth like Jenson Button. I think I should be more aggressive not just competing with other drivers but also with the car. Hopefully this year I can be a bit more aggressive.

Who was your hero in motor sport?

I would have to say Michael Schumacher. As I mentioned earlier about the fitness, Schumacher used his fitness to take it to the next level. He never left the track when the day finished at 5pm, he was always the last one to leave and went over every single piece of data with the engineers.

He realized that it was more than just him and the car, it was a team. He had a big influence on my interest in the sport.

Formula 2000’s Dylan Young talks racing with Phuket’s Rotax Go-Karters, Ben & Sam Grimes.

What do you consider to be your best racing achievement to date?
It’s a difficult one but I would say the Singapore F1 Grand Prix event in 2011. That was a tough year for me. I lost sponsorship in the middle of the year and was on the sidelines for five months. At F1 events you only get a 30 minute practice session and I had missed a lot of sessions with the other drivers. I had half an hour to practice and ended up getting 5th on the grid. It wasn’t first but given the months out it felt like a win.

When did you step up from karts to single seaters?
I was 20 or 21. I had planned to do it earlier but sponsorship reasons meant I had to wait. I first drove a single seater when I was about 18.

What does a single seater feel like compared to karts?

A big difference is how your own body can’t influence the car. In karts you can move around to influence the kart.

Obviously in a single seater you have a gear box and suspension. It is faster but the tracks are so much bigger that karting still feels fast because you don’t have long between corners.

I don’t think you will be shocked at the speed because everything is bigger. The real difference is the driving style. I would suggest listening. I had a really good engineer to start with and it’s learning again in the same way you go from primary school to high school.

What do you hope to achieve in the future for your racing career?
All drivers would say Formula One. That is the goal. It is very difficult and my window to get there is probably 3-4 years. I will then have to make a choice about what to do as I can’t keep on banging on the door. I would have to go to Europe next year for GP2 to help me make the move into Formula One. If Formula One doesn’t happen, there are many other racing categories out there. Anything where I can be professional and make a career out of it is also a goal.

Do you still get nervous before the start of the race?

I do and I think if you don’t there is something wrong. In the beginning I didn’t like to talk too much to people but now I don’t mind having a talk and even have a joke. I still want to focus but I find that if you are in the car before the race and you have a little joke with your engineer it helps to relax you. I also suggest listening to the right kind of music before the race to help you relax.

Have you struggled to get appropriate funding through your career?

I have, but I am not the only one. Appropriate funding is crucial to climbing the steps and that means thinking outside of the box and putting in the hard work. And that means how do you differentiate yourself from the opposition – other drivers. It is not only motor sport as you will have to take sponsorship funds away from other sports. It takes a lot of networking.

— Andrew Scott


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