Ross brings Motorbase Aston home 12th at legendary Spa-Francorchamps
Ross Wylie is already looking ahead to next month’s British GT Championship race after admitting feeling “frustrated” in the latest event yesterday (9 Jul). Thornhill’s Wylie and fellow Scot Phil Dryburgh brought their Motorbase Performance Aston Martin Vantage GT3 home in 12th place, one-lap down on the winning car in the two-hour race around the majestic Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium.
Having achieved fifth, sixth and 10th place finishes in the opening five races, Ross was hoping for another top-10 performance at a venue he claimed second place (GT4) on his Spa debut in 2014 and eighth (GT3) last year. But multiple incidents in practice combined with the obvious fact that Dryburgh needs time in the car as well as Ross, drastically reduced the number of laps Wylie was able to complete – although he commendably qualified inside the top-10 around the predominantly fast and sweeping 19-corner, 4.35-mile track in the Ardennes region.
Starting 12th on the massive near 60-car grid, Dryburgh had moved up impressively to eighth by lap 10, running comfortably inside the top-eight, before a spin eight laps later cost three places. Ross took over the Aston Martin at the completion of lap 21 – Wylie running through to the finish and clocking up 48-laps at the chequered flag. The next round of the championship is the Snetterton 300 at the 2.99-mile Norfolk venue on 7 August with Wylie and Dryburgh placed 10th in the championship standings.
Ross Wylie (GB): Age 24. Born & Lives Thornhill nr Dumfries, Scotland:
“Spa was a tough weekend – hopefully the tide will turn for Phil and I in the next race at Snetterton. With around 60 cars on the Spa track along with Euro GT4 competitors, the track was pretty ‘busy’ which in turn led to a number of incidents meaning our free practice time was halved due to numerous Red Flag stoppages. This was a huge setback as ‘seat’ time for me is currently critical – I’m just not getting enough time behind the wheel. I’m still ‘dialling’ myself into the Aston after a season with the McLaren which is preventing me from extracting 100% out of the car and I’m personally finding that very frustrating. I qualified just inside the top-10 while our combined lap times meant a six row start. Phil made his way up to eighth but made a small mistake and spun which dropped us to 11th. The speed was clearly in the Aston, the Motorbase Performance team did a great job for us as normal but being self-critical, I felt I struggled a little for outright pace. High speed ‘aero’ has been the biggest struggle for me and is definitely something I will be working on for the future races. Additionally, we’d gambled on a Safety Car appearing which surprisingly never happened. Its non-appearance meant I had to save fuel in the closing laps so as to get us to the end of the race without another pit-stop. So that was a strange feeling lifting and coasting into braking zones. This just added to the challenge. But I’m still smiling, driving the legendary Spa circuit is great for any driver and it was a great experience as always, I just need to work harder for the next round at Snetterton.”