McLaren GT’s “Young Driver” Ross Wylie will compete in the 2015 British GT Championship with Von Ryan Racing.
The 23-year-old from Thornhill will race a McLaren 650S GT3 sportscar with Andrew Watson (N. Ireland) in the seven-event series that begins at Oulton Park on Easter Monday (6 Apr).
Wylie, who won the GT4 class in the prestigious British series at his first attempt last year, was announced by McLaren GT as a member of its “Young Driver” programme in January.
Von Ryan Racing has been a McLaren GT customer team since forming in 2011, and has campaigned the 12C GT3 in a variety of events for the past three seasons, while also building a reputation as one of the most professional teams competing in GT racing. This announcement marks a return to the Avon Tyres British GT Championship having entered selected rounds during 2013.
Wylie and co-driver Watson had their first test of the year, lapping Snetterton and Oulton Park recently, while another test is scheduled for later this month.
Meanwhile Wylie has been selected as a British Racing Drivers’ Club SuperStar for 2015. Now in its eighth year, the Scheme is designed to work with the most talented young British drivers alongside their racing programmes with a series of events and workshops throughout the year to enhance their physical and mental fitness, communication, media and marketing skills.
Wylie recently attended a four-day fitness camp at Loughborough College organised by the Motor Sports Association. MSA Academy Squad member Wylie was involved in physical exercises, tests and challenges, combined with nutrition education at the state-of-the-art venue.
2015 British GT Championship*
Rounds Date Circuit
1/2 4-6 April Oulton Park
3 2-3 May Rockingham
4 30-31 May Silverstone
5 10-11 July Spa, Belgium
6 1-2 August Brands Hatch
7/8 22-23 August Snetterton
9 12-13 September Donington Park
* Provisional calendar
Ross Wylie (GB): Age 23. Born & Lives Thornhill nr Dumfries, Scotland:
“Returning to the British GT Championship but now in the GT3 class will be very exciting. After 2014, I have knowledge of all of the race tracks on the BGT schedule and that should be beneficial.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to be working with Dave Ryan and the rest of the Von Ryan Racing team. The knowledge and experience Dave and VRR co-founder Warren Briggs can offer is something very special.
“Sharing the McLaren with new co-driver Andrew [Watson] will be cool. We’re both competing in the GT3 category for the first time but like me, Andrew is hungry for success, has good race craft and also knows the tracks we will be racing at this season so we should be in a good position.
“I tested the 650S GT3 for the first time this year at Snetterton and Oulton Park last month. It was the first time both Andrew [Watson] and I had worked together and it was great getting to know him.
“McLaren GT ‘factory’ driver Rob Bell was on hand and his input was very valuable to both of us. We both learned a lot in terms of driving techniques and his knowledge of the 650S.
“The McLaren is a completely different car to drive compared to the GT4 Aston Martin I raced last year. The biggest element is the additional downforce and extra power. Having the engine in the rear of the car requires a driving style change too.
“I feel really honoured to be named a BRDC SuperStar. The BRDC is one of the most prestigious clubs in motorsport and I’m really proud to be a part of it. Being previously named a Rising Star was amazing but to progress to a SuperStar status is amazing.
“In recent weeks I’ve attended an instructor training day at the McLaren Technology Centre down in Woking for an insight in to McLaren Automotive products including the new 650S road car. That was interesting and I can now instruct at Pure McLaren Corporate Driving events.
“I also attended the MSA Team UK national squad training at Loughborough for some intense training. That’s a great way to kick start the motivation. Some of British motor sport’s most promising young athletes experiencing a top national sports facility is a fantastic experience for all of us.”
Dave Ryan, Team Manager, Von Ryan Racing:
“I have been very pleased with the rate of progress by Andrew and Ross, and they have both come on as drivers so much already through working closely with my team.
“We are confident they are a strong pairing to contest the British GT Championship, and we are looking forward to working with them this season. It is also a true test of the new McLaren 650S GT3 which has shown some real potential in testing.”