New deal puts Youlden on double duty
By Mat Coch
Saturday 12th December, 2020 - 12:34pm
Luke Youlden will take on both driving and coaching responsibilities in 2021 courtesy of a tie up with Tekworkx Motorsport.
The Gold Coast-based operation is set to compete in both the Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia 86 Series and Porsche Carrera Cup Australia, the latter with the 2017 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 winner at the wheel.
“This is the best of both worlds for me,” Youlden said.
“I will be giving something back, passing on my experience, and also getting back to racing,” Youlden said.
“Being honest, I get just as much satisfaction these days from helping a youngster getting a result as I do when I finish on the podium myself.
“I’ve been doing more and more driver coaching in recent years and it’s very rewarding.”
The coaching role will see him work alongside Tim Brook, who won the TGRA 86 series in 2018 before selling his car midway through this year’s Bathurst 1000 weekend.
“We’re had a lot of interest in what we’re doing and I think Tim is a big drawcard. He knows what it takes to win in 86s,” Youlden explained.
“The 86 series is a great starting point and ideal for learning about professional racing. It’s highly competitive, the series goes to the best racetracks, and youngsters will learn a lot.”
On a race weekend, Youlden will drive the Porsche while sharing the Toyota workload with Brook.
“This Tekworkx programme is a great way for me to combine my experience on two fronts,” Youlden said.
“I’ll be in charge of the coaching and preparation leading up to rounds of the 86 Series, then sharing with Tim Brook on race weekends.
“I think we both have a lot to offer and we’re already fielding a lot of enquiries for next year’s 86 championship.”
The veteran is also keeping an ear out for opportunities to return to the Supercars grid as a co-driver.
From 2017 to 2019 he partnered David Reynolds at Erebus, and until 2019 had competed at every edition of the Bathurst 1000 since 2000, finishing third with Steven Ellery in 2003.
That included stints alongside Great Race winners Russell Ingall, Mark Winterbottom, Will Davison, and Shane van Gisbergen before his hiatus this year.
“I stepped back from co-driving because I was not enjoying it, but that could change in 2020,” Youlden suggested.
“It’s only one long-distance race now, so it would work with my new programme.
“But, honestly, I’m happy with the way things are going and I’m focussed on finding the next Luke Youlden, not just reinventing the old one.”
The 2021 Porsche Payce Carrera Cup Australia season kicks off in Melbourne next March.