Darryl O'Young starts his second season racing in the World Touring Car Championship at Curitiba in Brazil this weekend.
The Hong Kong racer and his bamboo engineering team will be racing the 2008-spec Chevrolet Lacetti for the Curitiba rounds. This will present a challenge for the team, as most of their rivals have switched to running the 1.6 litre turbocharged engine that has been introduced into the regulations for this season. Bamboo will upgrade to a 2011-spec Chevrolet Cruze with the new engine in time for the second round of the season at Zolder.
“Our goal is to 'limit damage' and to try and score as many points as we can for the Independents title before being upgraded to the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T in the second race weekend, rounds 3 and 4 in Belgium in April,” said O'Young.
Although it will leave him out of the fight for overall honours, racing with the older specification of car will enable O'Young to compete for additional prize money at Curitiba. WTCC organisers have introduced the new Jay-Ten Trophy, created for those competitors racing cars that meet the 2010 regulations.
O'Young is looking forward to getting his hands on the more competitive Cruze. “Of course it is not the best situation not to have the new car from the start of the season. But I am sure once I get behind of the wheel of the latest Cruze – the same one to be driven by defending world champion Yvan Muller – we will be able to fight for championship podiums.”
Following the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last week, O'Young, along with his Japanese teammate Yukinori Taniguchi and many other drivers, will carry a special design on the front bonnet of his car with the words 'Save Japan' as well as a black stripe to remember the victims.