Jack Young assessing his options after losing spot in CR China Touring Car Championship

Offaly driver Dunne joins McLaren Driver Development programme

Jack Young finished second in his debut season in the CR China Touring Car Championship

BELFAST’S Jack Young says he is currently “evaluating his options” in the hope of making a handful of appearances this year after losing his full-time seat in the TCR China Touring Car Championship.

At the end of his debut season in the competition, Young eventually steered his Dongfeng Honda Racing-run Civic Type R to second, 19 points adrift of the eventual champion, Martin Cao.

A disastrous first visit to the title-deciding Macau GP street circuit saw him collect a front-left puncture in race one following early contact with Zhendong Zhang before he out-braked himself and hit a wall in the reversed-grid contest.

Both incidents put paid to Young’s hopes of becoming the first British driver in history to triumph in the tin top series.

Despite this, his race-winning pace raised expectations that he would return to the series in 2024, however, with Dongfeng Honda Racing pulling its support over the winter months, it meant Honda China having to go it alone as an independent and dropping the former Renault UK Clio Cup champion from their books.

“I nearly won the title with Honda last year in TCR China – but this year the finances over there meant they had to withdraw from it,” explained the 22-year-old.

“It had nothing whatsoever to do with our performance, which was fantastic to nearly win the title with a brand-new project. Unfortunately, the change of plan was all so last-minute, that it has left us without a programme.

“It means we are having to evaluate some other options – maybe some one-off rounds this year – but certainly to be back fighting for a title somewhere in 2025, that is the goal I am working towards.

“There are many competitive TCR series out there, but also other options to consider.”

Jack Young is believed to be considering is the TCR World Tour after losing his full-time seat in the TCR China Touring Car Championship

One of the avenues Young is understood to be considering is the TCR World Tour; the first two double-headers in Italy and China have already taken part with rounds five and six heading to the United States on the weekend of June 7 and 8 to the Mid-Ohio Sport Car Course in Ohio.

Meanwhile, current FIA Formula 3 driver Alex Dunne has joined the McLaren Driver Development programme after impressing at the Macau Grand Prix last year on top of securing the British F4 Championship title back in 2022 and finishing as vice-champion in the 2023 GB3 Championship.

“It is an honour to join the McLaren Driver Development programme. I am really looking forward to getting started with the team,” admitted Offaly-based Dunne.

“McLaren provides the perfect environment for me to develop my skillset as I continue my journey in motorsport.

“I am grateful for Zak [Brown, McLaren Chief Executive Officer] and Stephanie’s [Carlin, McLaren’s Formula One Business Operations Director] support and I am excited to meet the rest of the team at MTC.”