Top independent at Macau Grand Prix Darryl O'Young credits his mechanics

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 19 November, 2012, 3:16am

It's amazing what six hours with a sledgehammer can do.

On Thursday, Hong Kong's Darryl O'Young thought his Macau Grand Prix weekend was over after a huge crash in testing left his Chevrolet Cruze looking beyond repair. Yesterday the Bamboo Racing driver finished fifth in both the final races of the World Touring Car Championship season to take the top independent title on "home" turf.

The 32-year-old piled praise on his mechanics after their all-nighter got his car back in one piece, and he emerged from two carnage-filled races as the leading independent in both.

"I have to give massive thanks to the team because when I crashed the car it looked almost unrepairable," O'Young (pictured) said. "The guys worked 15 hours through the night, didn't sleep until like 30 hours later.

"The chassis was bent, which usually means it's weekend over, and the guys did a fantastic job to get it straight again. They worked non-stop, they were taking sledgehammers to it for six hours.

"That's real dedication and I knew I had to pay them back, first I got pole position for them, then to be first independent in the two races just tops it off."

O'Young has had a rough year and before yesterday his best finish was seventh. Macau shot him to sixth overall in the final independents' standings.

"I've had a really tough season, a lot of ups and downs, a lot of incidents, so it just feels like I've made it back. With double points here in Macau I've basically scored as many points here [42] as I did the whole season [45]."

O'Young escaped a huge pile-up at the Lisboa corner in the first race that left him and the other leading drivers far ahead, then threaded his way unscathed through an incident-packed second race in which the safety car was out multiple times.

"I was actually hit coming into [Lisboa], but positioned myself well and didn't get knocked sideways, so that really helped me to get out of that safely.

"Race two, it was all happening and I just used my experience of Macau to come out on top.

"It's always better to win overall, and I won here three times overall in the Macau GT, but it's great to win the independents' title because the boys here in the works cars are really quick.

"When you're on your home turf, all the other drivers come up to you and say, 'You gotta step it up'. That's exactly what I did."

Britain's Rob Huff was crowned world champion for the first time but not before enduring the longest 20 minutes of his life. He crashed in race one and could only watch as title rivals Yvan Muller and Alain Menu closed the gap in the overall standings while his car was patched together with sweat and duct tape.

Like O'Young, he had his mechanics to thank as he finished race two in second, taking the title by 12 points from Menu (401), with Muller (393) third to complete a 1-2-3 for Chevrolet.

"What a mistake to make, but it all turned out well in the end," said the 32-year-old. "That [wait] was about the most horrific experience of my life.

"I just want to say a huge thank you to the team, there was quite a lot of damage to repair, but it wasn't just my guys helping fix it, Alain and Yves' guys helped as well and without them I wouldn't have been able to get back out there."

Earlier, Italy's Edoardo Mortara made it four race wins in a row at Macau with a second successive win in the City of Dreams GT Cup.

Driving an Audi R8 LMS Ultra, the only man to have won the F3 race twice with wins in 2009 and 2010, held off former F1 driver Lucas Di Grassi's Ferrari 458 GT3 to live up to his "King of Macau" nickname.