Scotsman heads home to Dumfries after achieving fourth British title success in career
Scotsman Ross Wylie has claimed the outright Britcar Endurance Championship title along with co-driver Witt Gamski marking his fourth British Championship title success in motorsport. The duo brought their MJC Furlonger prepared Ferrari 458 GT home second in the championship’s final two races at Brands Hatch last weekend (18-19 Nov) to secure the overall title by 19-points despite missing two races mid-season. Wylie has swept the Ferrari to 10 outright podium placings – including four overall race wins – in the 13 multi-class races Ross has contested this year, a season in which he also finished a praiseworthy third in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Rookie Championship. The former Knockhill Young Saloon Car Driver of the Year adds this latest success to the British GT4 Championship title he secured in 2014 combined with British Junior and Senior karting championships in a motorsport career now spanning 14 years having switched to car racing in 2012.
The 26-year-old driver from Thornhill near Dumfries qualified the Ferrari fourth quickest in heavy rain for Saturday evening’s 50-minute race around the Kent track’s 1.21-mile “Indy” circuit. Co-driver Gamski took the start and was understandably very cautious in the treacherously slippery wet conditions, pitting to Wylie moments before a Safety Car period and subsequently a red flag bringing the race to a temporary halt. But at the re-start, Ross majestically sliced through the field in the challenging conditions, setting the race’s fastest lap enroute to second place, just 5.639secs behind the winning car.
Having started the first 50mins race a mere one-point ahead in the overall championship standings, the Wylie/Gamski Ferrari lined-up on the front row for yesterday evening’s two-hour event, staged in dry weather but with the track damp in places, eight-points in front. Gamski circulated just outside the top-10 in the 28-car field before moving into a highly respectable eighth with 80mins to run just prior to Wylie taking over.
Ross resumed 13th but had scythed through to seventh position with an hour remaining courtesy of a series of outright fastest laps. He moved up in to third place with 42mins to go and was consistently the fastest car on track and duly snatched second place on the last lap despite serving a stop-go penalty for an earlier pit-stop infringement.
*Top photograph courtesy of Chris Valentine
Ross Wylie (GB):
Age 26. Born & Lives Thornhill nr Dumfries, Scotland:
“I’m absolutely delighted to have won the Britcar championship title outright. It was done against the odds in many respects as we didn’t collect the maximum points awarded towards the outright title unlike our main title rivals due to an anomaly in the series regulations. Additionally, I missed two races mid-season due to my Porsche Carrera Cup commitments. So, all in all, I’m over the moon in what has been achieved in my first year racing the Ferrari!
“Qualifying on Saturday was wet which didn’t ideally suit our Ferrari but I managed the fourth fastest time. The team made some improvements to the car before the evening race which helped a lot. Witt started the race and I took over from him just prior to a red flag stoppage after an on-track incident. In the end, I came through to finish second overall and first in class. Witt drove superbly in yesterday’s race and apart from a small intermittent misfire, the Ferrari ran sweetly. My thanks to Witt [Gamski] and the MJC Furlonger team who have provided me with a car capable of winning each race this season. They have been magnificent.”