|O’Young out of title race after China but will pit against Hakkinen in Zhuhai Le Mans|
DRIVER UPDATE : PCCA : Darryl O’Young
Darryl O’Young had his WTCC independents title fight this year brought to an early end after a non-podium point-finish and a DNF at the Races of China in Shanghai. The result sees the Hong Kong race driver trailing leader Kristian Poulsen by 44 points in the Yokohama Drivers’ Trophy, with only 43 up for grab in the Macau season finale.
“This is a very big disappointment for me in the season,” says the WTCC sophomore. “However, this also takes title pressure off of me in Macau and I will push as hard as I can to take victory in front of my home fans!”
Despite undergoing a tough qualifying session on Saturday, O’Young pulled off some great effort flying on the Tianma circuit. “It was my toughest result of the season in qualifying. With only one more new tire run in Q1, we misjudged the situation and went out onto the circuit a few minutes too early. This forced me to use the best of my tires too early and by the final lap of qualifying when the track was in the best condition, my tires were too worn to put in a fast time.”
The 31-year-old driver started from 18th on the grid, but brought his skills into full play and overtook cars at will. For once O’Young did place himself onto independent P4 and overall P11, before worn tires made him to settle for an independent P7 and overall P13 and took home two independents points.
“I knew it was going to be a difficult race on Tianma circuit because it is a tight and twisty track with limited passing. Starting from P18, I made a strong push and the car felt very good in the first half of the race. I managed to make some good passing moves and passed a total of 7 cars during the race. Unfortunately, tire wear came into effect and I was passed back by Villa and Engstler in the final quarter of the race. It was a hard fought race but I'm quite satisfied with the result and it was the maximum I could do today.”
O’Young shot again from P18 on the grid to P11 in the opening lap of Race 2. Unfortunately, a hit from Dudukalo broke his suspension and the Hong Kong ace had to pit on lap 2 and accept a DNF finish.
“I made a nice start from the back of the grid and overtook 4 cars into turn 1 as I made a pass around the outside. Onto turn 5 still on the opening lap, I managed to make my way past another 6 cars as a few of them came together pushing me up to P11 overall.
“In lap 2, I made an overtaking maneuver on Dudukalo, unfortunately on the exit he made contact with my right rear wheel breaking my suspension. It was a real shame as this opening lap charge would have put me in for a fight with the leaders of the race.”
The Canadian-born Chinese will next race against Finnish legend Mika Hakkinen at Le Mans 6 Hours of Zhuhai this weekend in an Audi R8 LMS, before returning for the WTCC Macau finale races from the 17th to 20th of November.
Sponsors LKM and A-Ha Coffee are the major forces behind Darryl’s pursuit of success in the 2011 FIM World Touring Car Championship, with additional team support coming from Chevrolet.
2011 Yokohama Drivers’ Trophy after Round 22 (Top 6)
Pos Driver Total points Stats
1 Kristian Poulsen (DNK) 127 6 wins + 6 podium
2 Norbert Michelisz (HUN) 104 4 win + 6 podium
3 Michael Nykjaer (DNK) 98 3 win + 6 podium
4 Franz Engstler (GER) 97 4 win + 4 podium
5 Javier Villa (ESP) 92 1 win + 6 podium
6 Darryl O’Young (CHN) 83 1 win + 6 podium
Prepared by www.darryloyoung.com