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New Zealand’s Mike Young has been impressive in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship this year and his performance at the International Rally of Queensland cemented his position as a star of the sport with a long future.
He has rallied two-wheel drive cars over the previous few years with Protons and Toyotas – taking 2WD and Junior titles. But now has stepped to a Subaru Impreza STI – with four wheel drive and a handy power boost.
The switch has undoubtedly provided a steep learning curve for Young but his first rally out at home in Rally Whangerai but he took a APRC podium, with Young coming home in third. He skipped Rallye New Caledonia, not an ideal preparation for Rally Queensland.
But that didn’t stop him and he was involved in a rally long battle with the Mitsubishi of Suhan Aska but he was never really overly bothered by the Indonesian. Young kept the car straight for the rally, with the only real hiccup being a bird that tried to come through the air vent at 180km/h.
He would take second behind the Pontus Tidemand in the Skoda Fabia S2000 – an ideal result for Young.
He is the latest in a long line of very talented New Zealand drivers that includes GP2 drivers Mitch Evans and Richie Stanaway, Le Mans winner Earl Bamber and of course WRC’s Hayden Paddon.
We talk with Young about his rally and what they put in the New Zealand water to produce so many high quality drivers…
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By Sam Tickell, June 2015
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