YOULDEN SET FOR FINAL START IN GREEN MACHINE
BRETT YOULDENÃ¢â‚¬â„¢S bright green Holden HQ GTS 350 Monaro has been a popular sight within ENZED Touring Car Masters competition for half a decade Ã¢â‚¬â€œ but this weekendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Rare Spares Tourist Trophy at Phillip Island will represent the end of an era.
After years of building preparing racing and maintaining his own car essentially all on his own Youlden has listed his Monaro for sale with a view to a change of scenery next year.
The popular Victorian will remain in the category but is looking forward to a more stress-free way of going racing in the future.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I suppose IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m after a change of scenery and a different way of doing thingsÃ¢â‚¬Â Youlden explained.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve spent a lot of time in the garage working on the Monaro rather than being with the family so itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the right time to put the car on the market and look at a different way of doing things.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Money is always an issue too. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve had a lot of amazing and loyal sponsors and supporters but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s always hard to challenge for outright victories when youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re running on a fish and chip budget.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just been me and my long-suffering mate Bill helping me out so itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s time for a change!Ã¢â‚¬Â
YouldenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Monaro has always been one of the most competitive examples of the popular HQ model in TCM competition and the experienced driver and engineer says heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s proud of the car he created.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a great car and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not far off being a package that can win races regularly and win a championshipÃ¢â‚¬Â he said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a competitive package itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s reliable and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fast so itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a good thing. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m hoping it will end up in good hands with someone who can run at the pointy end where the car is capable of running.Ã¢â‚¬Â
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also appropriate that his Monaro swan-song will come at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit: as well as being a home track itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s always also been one of his best.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Perhaps itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s me or perhaps itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the car but weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve always gone really well on fast tracksÃ¢â‚¬Â Youlden said.
The green Monaro won race two at the Island in 2012 qualified third outright in 2013 and scored a podium finish in the first race of that weekend as well.
In the seriesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ most recent round Ã¢â‚¬â€œ at Mount Panorama Bathurst Ã¢â‚¬â€œ he qualified ninth and scored finishes of fifth fourth and fifth in a competitive showing. He also won the ProAm class at the Winton round in May this year.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re always competitive down there: itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a track I love and one where IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve had a lot of experience.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Despite offering the car for sale Youlden remains clear on two things: a) heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not leaving the category and b) heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still gunning for victory this weekend.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not giving it away Ã¢â‚¬â€œ this isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a retirement!Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m remaining in the class I love and the plan is to be in a competitive package that can be at the front.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Just because itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the last meeting in this car IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not going to be touring around just trying to finish either. I want to end my time with the girl on a high.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“And if I scratch it in the process.. I promise IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll fix it for the new owner before they take delivery!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Youlden will join the ENZED Touring Car Masters grid for three races this weekend at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit as part of the Rare Spares Island Trophy event.