Luke Youlden (born 28 January 1978) is an Australian Supercars series racing driver. He is the son of two-time Australian Production Car champion Kent Youlden. Youlden currently drives for Kelly Grove Racing as a co-driver alongside David Reynolds in the No. 26 Ford Mustang GT. Outside racing, Youlden works at a performance driving school with fellow Supercars racer Dean Canto. He co-drove to victory with David Reynolds in the 2017 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Youlden's career started in the Victorian Formula Ford Championship in 1995 while he was completing Year 12. Due to a lack of funds, Youlden didn't progress to the national championship and remained in the Victorian series. At the same time, he joined Dugal McDougall Motorsport as an engineer and a driver. In 1999, Youlden was involved with Greg Ritter's Australian Formula Ford title win and with Ritter driving in the Bathurst 1000 that year, Youlden took his seat at the Bathurst support races. Youlden won both races and this, coupled with his victory in the Victorian series, allowed him to enter the national series in 2000. Youlden won the 2000 Australian Formula Ford Championship and also competed in the British Formula Ford Festival. He made his Bathurst debut the same year, driving for Perkins Motorsport alongside Christian Murchison. The pair were running inside the top five until a broken valve spring put them out of the race.
Youlden competed in the Australian GT Production Car Championship in 2001, winning Class E in a Holden Astra. He again competed for Perkins Motorsport in the V8 Supercar endurance races but was unable to secure a full-time drive for 2002. Youlden settled for what was then called the Konica Series, driving a Ford Falcon (AU) for Steven Ellery Racing, and would drive with Steven Ellery in the Queensland 500 and Bathurst 1000. Youlden and Ellery finished ninth at Bathurst and Youlden finished the Konica Series in 13th place after a bad start to the season hurt his championship chances. Youlden continued to drive for Steven Ellery Racing in both the Konica Series and the endurance races in 2003 and 2004. Youlden and Ellery finished on the podium in both endurance races in 2003 and the following year Youlden finished second in the Konica Series. Youlden was actually tied on points with series champion Andrew Jones but lost the title on a countback of round wins.
With Steven Ellery Racing dropping out the V8 Supercar Championship Series in 2005, Youlden was hired by Stone Brothers Racing to drive alongside Russell Ingall in that year's endurance races. The pair finished inside the top ten in both endurance races, helping Ingall to the 2005 title. Youlden remained with the team for 2006 and came perilously close to a second podium a Bathurst when he and Ingall finished in fourth place, just one one-hundredth of a second behind teammates James Courtney and Glenn Seton.
Youlden joined Ford Performance Racing for the 2008 endurance races, driving the team's second car with Dean Canto. The pair finished seventh at Bathurst and teamed together again in 2009, finishing ninth at the L&H 500 but failing to finish at Bathurst after Canto hit the wall at The Esses late in the race. 2010 saw the introduction of a rule stating that each team's regular drivers were not allowed to be paired together at the endurance races. This rule saw Youlden get paired up with Mark Winterbottom for the L&H 500 and the Bathurst 1000. Youlden and Winterbottom finished second at the L&H 500 and were on pole for Bathurst, however a delaminated tyre put Youlden into the wall in the middle of the race and this put them out of contention. Youlden was placed in the #6 car for 2011 alongside Will Davison and Youlden collected his first series pole position when the pair claimed the top grid spot at the L&H 500. After balance issues during the race, Youlden and Davison finished third behind the two Team Vodafone cars. Davison led the opening stint of the Bathurst 1000 but Youlden went off at Murray's Corner on the first safety car restart and hit the tyre wall. The pair recovered to finish on the lead lap, albeit in 18th place.
Youlden returned to Stone Brothers Racing in 2012 to partner Shane van Gisbergen. The pair scored pole position for the Sandown 500 before going on to finish fifth in the race. Van Gisbergen qualified the car in third for the Bathurst 1000 but the pair would only manage to finish the race in twelfth place. Youlden joined Brad Jones Racing for 2013 to drive alongside Fabian Coulthard in the new Endurance Cup. The duo finished in ninth place in the Endurance Cup standings, with a second-place finish in the second race of the Gold Coast 600.
In November 2021, Youlden would make his Supercars sprint debut when he was drafted by Kelly Grove Racing to drive the #26 Penrite Racing Mustang in place of David Reynolds. Reynolds was forced out of competition for Rounds 9-11 due to his COVID health exemption being overturned.
Supercars Championship results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)
Complete Bathurst 1000 results
|2000||Perkins Engineering||Holden Commodore (VT)||Christian Murchison||DNF||128|
|2001||Perkins Engineering||Holden Commodore (VX)||Adam Macrow||DNF||85|
|2002||Supercheap Auto Racing||Ford Falcon (AU)||Steven Ellery||9th||160|
|2003||Supercheap Auto Racing||Ford Falcon (BA)||Steven Ellery||3rd||161|
|2004||Supercheap Auto Racing||Ford Falcon (BA)||Steven Ellery||16th||158|
|2005||Stone Brothers Racing||Ford Falcon (BA)||Russell Ingall||5th||161|
|2006||Stone Brothers Racing||Ford Falcon (BA)||Russell Ingall||4th||161|
|2007||Stone Brothers Racing||Ford Falcon (BF)||Russell Ingall||DNF||149|
|2008||Ford Performance Racing||Ford Falcon (BF)||Dean Canto||7th||161|
|2009||Ford Performance Racing||Ford Falcon (FG)||Dean Canto||DNF||139|
|2010||Ford Performance Racing||Ford Falcon (FG)||Mark Winterbottom||9th||161|
|2011||Ford Performance Racing||Ford Falcon (FG)||Will Davison||18th||161|
|2012||Stone Brothers Racing||Ford Falcon (FG)||Shane van Gisbergen||12th||161|
|2013||Brad Jones Racing||Holden Commodore (VF)||Fabian Coulthard||16th||161|
|2014||Brad Jones Racing||Holden Commodore (VF)||Fabian Coulthard||9th||161|
|2015||Brad Jones Racing||Holden Commodore (VF)||Fabian Coulthard||4th||161|
|2016||DJR Team Penske||Ford FG X Falcon||Fabian Coulthard||6th||161|
|2017||Erebus Motorsport||Holden Commodore (VF)||David Reynolds||1st||161|
|2018||Erebus Motorsport||Holden Commodore (ZB)||David Reynolds||13th||161|
|2019||Erebus Motorsport||Holden Commodore ZB||David Reynolds||5th||161|
|2021||Kelly Grove Racing||Ford Mustang Mk.6||David Reynolds||11th||161|
Complete Bathurst 24 Hour results
|2003||Mark Coffey Racing|| Paul Stokell
|Lamborghini Diablo GTR||A||487||8th||6th|
- "Konica Profile: Luke Youlden". V8X. 15 September 2003. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
- "Our Drivers". Stunt Driving School.com.au. Archived from the original on 24 November 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
- "Luke Youlden's Formula Ford Festival Ends Early". AutoWeb. 24 October 2000. Archived from the original on 22 November 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
- "Andrew Jones Wins 2004 Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Series Championship". Official site of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series. 25 August 2004. Archived from the original on 14 September 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
- "Super Cheap Auto 1000 - Rd 9 2006 V8 Supercar Series - Mount Panorama - Bathurst - V8 Supercars - Supercheap Auto 1000". National Software. 8 October 2006. Archived from the original on 9 April 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
- "Split enduro driver rule divides a nation". SpeedCafe. 3 January 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
- "Davison and Youlden Take L&H 500 Pole". Official site of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series. 17 September 2011. Archived from the original on 19 September 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
- "Early casualties at Mount Panorama". SpeedCafe. 9 October 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (15 September 2012). "Shane van Gisbergen secures Sandown 500 pole". SpeedCafe. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (16 September 2012). "Lowndes and Luff take Sandown 500 victory". SpeedCafe. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (27 October 2013). "Reynolds takes maiden V8 Supercars win". SpeedCafe. Retrieved 12 February 2014.