DUMFRIES YOUNGSTER GEARS UP FOR HECTIC YEAR OF RACING

Wylie to drive Volkswagen Scirocco in two championships comprising of 20 races staged in three countries

Ross Wylie embarks on his busiest season in motor racing when the Dumfries youngster gets his 2013 season underway on Easter Monday.

The 21-year-old from Thornhill competes in the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup and Volkswagen Racing Cup series in only the Scottish youngster’s second full season of car racing after eight years in karting.

The six-race Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup is a support series to the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) which has featured fellow Scots Dario Franchitti, David Coulthard, Allan McNish, Paul di Resta and Suzie Wollf (née Stoddart) in recent years.

The Cup Scirocco that Wylie races is currently the most eco-friendly racing car in the world – it features a two-litre engine powered by compressed natural gas reducing CO2 emissions by up to 80 per cent in comparison to conventional fuels.

The Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup, featuring races in Germany and Austria, gets underway in May so Wylie, invited to become a MSA Squad member this year – an initiative by motorsport’s governing body in the UK to assist young driver talent – will also compete in the APR Volkswagen Racing Cup – with Ross the only Scotsman competing in both series.

“I can’t wait to get out racing again,” confirmed Wylie. “It’s been a long break since my last race five months ago. While the German series is my main focus, I’ll not be just making up the numbers in the UK championship.

“2013 marks only my second full season of circuit racing. I raced in the Celtic Speed Mini Cooper Cup last year and all but one of those events was staged at Knockhill.

Ross added: “I’m an ambitious young driver aiming to carve out a long and successful career in motor racing so I need to know tracks throughout Britain – as well as mainland Europe – which the UK series will give me the opportunity to learn.

“I’m keeping my feet on the ground in terms of what I can achieve this year. It’s going to be a steep learning curve but I’ll be pushing for top-three podium results that is for certain.”

Wylie raced in the Mini series at Oulton Park last June and tested his Slidesports prepared Scirocco at the Cheshire circuit earlier this month. The seven-meeting APR Volkswagen Racing Cup begins with two races on Easter Monday.

“I’ve only tested the UK Scirocco once and have only driven the ‘German’ Scirocco once, the latter in the driver evaluation process last November,” continued Wylie. “I’ll be the only British driver in the German series and I’ll have no real idea of the competition until everything gets underway at Hockenheim in May.

“Likewise in the UK championship, almost 30-cars are entered for the Oulton races featuring series-winning drivers from five seasons as well as a further six race victors from recent years so it’s going to be tough learning the tracks and the car against such a competitive field.”

Wylie has been busy in recent months preparing for his near 20-race programme.

“I attended Mark Webber’s annual ‘Get Race Fit’ event at the Porsche Human Performance at Silverstone in late January. The two-day event consisted of a range of training disciplines focusing on strength and conditioning, cardiovascular fitness and flexibility. Detailed educational sessions covering topics such as nutrition, also formed part of the weekend’s programme. It was obviously fantastic to meet Mark [Webber] again while this area is a vital aspect for a racing driver these days even at my level.

“I’ll be going back down there during the season because it keeps you sharp but I brought back home to Scotland what I learned so as to get me fully into shape for the tough season that lies ahead.

“More recently I attended a Volkswagen organised fitness training camp in Germany which was also intense. They pushed us to the limit over four days.”

2013 Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup

4 May Hockenheim (D)

1/2 Jun Red Bull Ring Spielberg (A)

13 Jul Norisring (D)

17/18 Aug Nürburgring (D)

14/15 Sep Oschersleben (D)

19 Oct Hockenheim (D)

2013 Volkswagen Racing Cup

1 Apr Oulton Park, Cheshire

6 May Rockingham, N’thants

26 May Silverstone, N’thants

16 Jun Snetterton 300, Norfolk

13 Jul Spa-Francorchamps (Bel)

11 Aug Brands Hatch, Kent

6 Oct Donington Park, Leics

* Editorial Copyright Free images attached (larger resolution versions are availabe on request

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