MOTOR RACING

Darryl O'Young

Darryl O'Young gunning for Le Mans finish for race's 90th anniversary

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 May, 2013, 3:52am

Hong Kong's Darryl O'Young is not only determined to finish the race, he is aiming for a win when he competes in the 90th anniversary of Le Mans, the world's most prestigious endurance event, next month.

O'Young last competed at the 24-hour race in 2009 in a Porsche, but failed to finish after encountering clutch and fuel pump problems 16 hours into the event.

The 53-car race is scheduled for Le Mans, France, from June 22 to 23.

Buoyed by the prospect of doing "much better" this year with a new team, the Canadian-born driver thinks he can win his LMGTE Am class aboard top Italian carmaker Ferrari.

"We are going for a win this time - not just finish," said the 33-year-old driver, who dropped a place to sixth spot in the Yokohama Drivers' Trophy in the latest round of the World Touring Car Championship in Salzburg, Austria, last weekend after colliding with an out-of-control car and being forced to quit.

O'Young will be hoping for better luck at Le Mans. "Ferrari are one of the top teams in the world, with all the right experience and back-up. This is a team sport and you need all the right people behind you [to do well]," he said.

O'Young will be joined by top Italian drivers Piergiuseppe Perazzini and Lorenzo Case, forming a three-man squad and piloting an AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GT2.

"At Le Mans, you really need to have everything going for you during the race," said O'Young. "There are so many obstacles and duels between cars and pit stops that could go wrong. I feel really good about the race and this time we will be well prepared.

"Ferrari will definitely be one of the front runners in the 13-car field in our class. We won't be good enough to win the overall class, the LMP1, which is for prototype cars. It's going to be a battle between the Audis and the Toyotas for top prize. We will be competing in our class against Corvettes, Ferraris, Aston Martins and Porsches.

"I have done endurance races before at Bathurst [in 2011 and 2012, winning his class aboard an Audi] and it has given me the experience and opportunity to take part in the biggest endurance race in the world at Le Mans. I'm excited to be going there for a second time."

O'Young has already had several practice sessions in his new Ferrari at the Paul Ricard circuit in France and "everything went smoothly".