Former F1 fitness trainer now on Coast for V8 drivers

20 Feb
Motorsport fitness trainer Phil Young with his specialist equipment - the Batak Machine - used in speed and reaction training.

Motorsport fitness trainer Phil Young with his specialist equipment – the Batak Machine – used in speed and reaction training.

By Samantha McLaughlin, Bond University Student Journalist 

Local V8 Supercar drivers are flocking to train with a former Formula One fitness specialist who has relocated to the Gold Coast.

Motorsport fitness specialist Phil Young, 52, migrated to the Gold Coast from the UK after his seven-year stint in Formula One where he worked with drivers Jenson Button, Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso.

Mr Young said his experience and motorsport expertise made him the preferred choice for V8 Supercar drivers, who require a unique type of fitness.

“The drivers come for that very sport-specific training,” he said.

“As far as I know, there’s not that many people in Australia that do sport specific stuff.”

V8 Supercar champions James Courtney and Jonathon Webb have sought Mr Young’s expertise at his Coomera gym to ensure they are physically equipped to handle the demands of the V8 racecars.

One element Mr Young simulates in his specialist sessions is heat stress, with drivers subjected to temperatures of up to 65 degrees celsius in the car’s cockpit.

Holden Racing Team driver James Courtney said Mr Young’s skills and ability to recreate what happens in the car in a gym environment would give the 2010 champion the best chance at regaining the V8 Supercar championship.

“Doing high-intensity interval exercise in the heat while doing speed and reaction training, it’s Phil’s goal is to get us completely knackered yet our hand-eye-coordination continues,” he said.

“This training simulates in the car towards the end of the race when it’s stinking hot, the last thing we want to be doing at a couple of hundred kilometres an hour with two concrete walls on each side and 28 other idiots trying to run into you, is thinking ‘gee, I’m tired’, because then you’ll crash.

“It’s something that someone with experience and a good understanding of the business can only do and is a big part of why he’s so good and so in demand.”

Pilot of the 2013 Tekno Autorsports entry Jonathon Webb said Mr Young’s experience in the world’s premier motorsport category was what set the trainer apart.

“Phil has that understanding of what a race car driver needs,” he said.

“You can walk into any gym anywhere in Australia and come across a personal trainer who I’m sure is good at whatever their specialty may be, but there’s no one in Australia who I’ve come across that understands what a driver needs.

“That’s something I think Phil is one of the few in Australia that really understand.”

The 2014 V8 Supercar Championship stars February 27 in Adelaide.

For more information about Phil’s training services visit www.gphumanperformance.com.

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