Young explains switch to Proton

From an interview by iRally:


Michael Young, who won the APRC Junior Cup and Asia Cup last season in a Toyota Vitz is switching this season to a Proton Satria Neo – he’ll drive the R3 car with co-driver Erin Kelly at the opening APRC round, the International Rally of Whangarei, next month.He’ll continue to be supported by Cusco.

iRally asked why the switch to Proton?

“We had a good year in 2013 with Toyota, but TRD [Toyota Racing Development] wanted the Vitz for demonstration purposes this year and it wasn’t available. Given their comments and our results last year, the door is definitely not closed, and we’ll see what happens in the future.”

“For this year I’m more than happy to be back driving the Proton: it’s slightly quicker, has a dog-box and Cusco suspension, plus Proton Malaysia were really good to me in my early years. I did 3-4 Malaysian Rally Championship events in 2011 and they were very supportive during that time. Malaysia is a great place to learn car control, in every kind of condition”.

Q) And the continued support from Cusco? “It’s simple, I wouldn’t be competing at international level if it wasn’t for the support I get from Cusco. Without them none of this would be possible.”

“One really big advantage is they are not aligned to any one car manufacturer and there are so many exciting things happening in the industry at the moment it’s a good place to be.”

“We also get great support from Dunlop Japan, they’ve been fantastic. Not having to worry about the cost of tyres takes away a lot of pressure as normally it’s such a big part of any new driver’s budget.”

Q) You’re 21. Where do you want to go in this sport? “Like anyone WRC is the ultimate goal, but I’m not in a big rush. The APRC has events in China, Japan, Malaysia and next year India – there is so much potential in this region, do you need to look elsewhere?”

“And I have an extra incentive to stay with APRC as my prize for winning the Junior Cup in 2013 gives me free entry to all APRC events. It’s meant I have the budget to enter all six driver championship rounds this year.”

“Later this year or next I’d like to do some European tarmac events and the ADAC Opel Adam Cup looks a good option – after that who knows?”

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