Just two days after his 18th birthday, Young lifted the crown with a stylish victory in the final round at Brands Hatch earlier this month ahead of North Yorkshire’s Max Coates.
This was the last ever race for the UK Clio Cup which, after 20 years appearing alongside the British Touring Car Championship, has now drawn to a close.
Young needed to keep his nerve entering into the final round – broadcast live on the Sunday by ITV4 and also watched by 40,000 fans who had packed into the Brands Hatch circuit.
In Saturday’s penultimate round, he had been penalised for infringing the Safety Car rules and instead of fourth he was classified 12th. This allowed arch rival Coates, third in the race, to suddenly move into the championship lead by just one point heading into Sunday’s big finale.
Young though still had the upper hand – he started the race from third on the grid with Coates back in tenth after being hampered by a red flag situation in qualifying.
The tight margin meant whoever finished in front of the other would be Champion and Young made the most of his better starting position to win the race. Coates came through for a gallant second but it was not enough to prevent Young becoming Champion by just five points – 352 to 347.
An ecstatic Young commented: “Those final laps – when I got the lead it was head down and building a gap in case Max came through and he did. The last lap… I’ve never know butterflies like it. Coming out of the last corner I could see the team on the pit wall and the feeling I had going past them was just indescribable.”
A gutted Coates said: “I put everything into that race and not many people come through from P10 to P2… still after four years of trying it’s not come our way. We gave it everything and it’s been such a rollercoaster season with some massive highs and lows along the way.
“Congratulations to Jack. We’ve had our fair share of moments but he’s also driven well as in this race when the pressure was on. We might not always see eye to eye but we do respect one another.”
Meanwhile Kent’s Jamie Bond has finished the season third in the drivers’ standings – a remarkable feat given he missed the opening rounds also at Brands Hatch back in April.
Since its rebirth in 2000, the UK Clio Cup has become unrivalled in producing so many future touring car stars and other drivers who have gone on to succeed at higher levels of the sport.
In November’s R.S. newsletter we’ll reflect on some of the great names to have emerged from the championship in the past 20 years…