Driver: Mike Young (NZ)
Co-Driver: Malcolm Read (NZ)

Team:  Cusco Racing Japan

Sponsors:  Cusco Racing, Dunlop Tyres, Yoda-Rallying, KOS Sunglasses, Verandah Apartments, Asia-Pacific Sports Media and Sanjay Takale.

 Age:  26

Mike Young started rallying at 18 years old, his first event being the 2011 Rally of New Zealand in his Dad’s 1989 Nissan March Superturbo, followed by three Malaysian Rally Championship events with the Pennzoil Rally team.

A one-off appearance at 2011 Rally Hokkaido lead to an opportunity to drive a Cusco prepared Proton Satria in the 2012 Asia Pacific Rally Championship Junior series. Competing against the manufacturer backed Proton Junior team, Young as a privateer won the first two rounds and lead the Junior championship until a big crash on the final round put him out of contention.

It was a tough lesson but Young returned to the 2013 APRC in a TRD Toyota Vitz, fully supported by Cusco Racing and Dunlop Japan. Co-driver Malcolm Read joined Young for the 2013 Malaysian Rally and the partnership had immediate results – second overall and first of the APRC registered drivers to finish.

Later that year in the Thailand Rally, Read used his mechanical skills at the end of a stage to repair a broken wheel and the rear brakes of the Toyota, to keep the pair in the event. On the final day when four of their rivals retired in front of them they were rewarded with the FIA Asia Cup, the only time it’s been won in a two-wheel drive car and Young the youngest driver ever to win it. Youtube Link:

In 2014 Young and Read returned to the APRC in a Cusco prepared 1600cc Proton. The highlights for the year included third overall in Rally New Caledonia and second overall at the China Rally, to finish the year second overall in the FIA Drivers Championship – a giant killing year considering Young was competing against the MRF Skoda S2000’s. YouTube Link

Cusco Racing decided Young was ready to move up to four-wheel drive and turbo power for the 2015 APRC, providing the kiwi with a Group N Subaru Impreza. With support from Dunlop and Sri Lanka’s EZY Racing, Young on his home event in New Zealand was immediately hounding the much faster Skoda S2000’s and only a slip-up on the last corner of the last stage lost him second place by 1.9 seconds!! Young did however finish second at the next event in Queensland Australia, before a big crash in Malaysia nearly put him out for the rest of the championship.

The Cusco mechanics did an amazing job to rebuild the car in time for their home event, Japan’s Rally Hokkaido, where Young rewarded the team with second overall followed by a third place at the China Rally, to once again finish second overall in the driver’s championship. YouTube Link

In July 2015, the Elite Motorsport Academy New Zealand invited Young to attend their one-week programme of physical, mental and media training. Daily tests included measuring strength, endurance, flexibility, heat stress tolerance, reaction time and at the end of the course Young was awarded with first prize and top honours – Elite Motorsport Academy winner 2015.

2016 was all about variety. A full APRC campaign again in a Cusco EZY Racing Group N Subaru netted three thirds’ and then a second place at the final round in India, while the China Rally was something completely different.

Young drove a hybrid powered BYD Quin, the first time a vehicle of this type had ever been entered in an international FIA rally. Sixth place and winning the inaugural APRC New Energy Cup for BYD was a definite high-light, as was competing in the ERC Estonia Rally with his Indian team-mate Sanjay Takale where they finished second in class. Cusco Racing also provided an opportunity to drive at the Ark Rally, a Japanese National Rally Championship event where Young finished sixth overall.


In 2017 entered the WRC Rally of Australia for the first time, finishing first in the two-wheel-drive category driving a Citroën DS3 R3. Young and co-driver Malcolm Read were 17th overall, against the world’s best drivers in the WRC, and fourth in the Australian Rally Championship behind much faster 4WD turbo cars on the fast flowing stages of the iconic event.

In 2017 and 2018 Young was entrusted with driving Cusco’s development AP4 car, a 4WD Toyota Yaris with an engine supplied by TRD. There were mixed results for Young 2018 as while the car was fast and won many stages outright, it also suffered a number of mechanical failures.

With a podium finish at the Rally of Tsumagoi, a snow rally in Gunma Prefecture, Japan, 2019 is off to a positive start.



Hobbies: Surfing, Rugby, Soccer, Cricket, Cooking and Eating

Ambition: I would like to work and experience many different aspects of the work environment before eventually owning and running my own successful company.

Short Term Goal: Learn as much as I can about international rallying and planning some events in Europe.

Long Term Goal: Be the first New Zealander to win the World Rally Championship.

Hobbies: Surfing, Rugby, Soccer, Cricket, Cooking and Eating

First Car: Nissan March Superturbo 1989

First Rally: Rally New Zealand 2011( Age 18)

First Podium Finish: Malaysian Rally Championship 2011 Rd 2 - 1st Junior

1st 2013 FIA APRC Junior Cup

1st 2013 FIA APRC Asia Cup

2nd 2014 – Overall FIA APRC Drivers Championship

2nd 2015 – Overall FIA APRC Drivers Championship

1st 2015 FIA Asia-Pacific Production Cup for Drivers

3rd 2016 – Overall FIA APRC Drivers Championship

1st 2016 FIA Asia-Pacific Production Cup for Drivers

1st 2016 FIA Asia-Pacific Junior Cup


" If you can dream it, do it! "