Scotsman sets sights on British GT Championship’s Pro-Am “crown”
Ross Wylie will race an Aston Martin in this year’s British GT Championship for the Motorbase Performance team with his sights firmly set on securing the Pro-Am title. 2016 marks the third consecutive year the 24-year-old from Thornhill near Dumfries has contested the prestigious nine-race series having won the GT4 “crown” in 2014 and then finishing runner-up in the GT3 Silver Cup category last year.
Wylie will partner fellow Scot Phil Dryburgh, from Fife, in a GT3-specification Aston Martin Vantage – Ross having taken GT4 class honours in a similar car with Beechdean two years ago in his maiden BGT season. Ross, a former British Racing Drivers’ Club “SuperStar”, stepped up to the more powerful GT3 class last year having been selected by McLaren GT as a member of its “Young Driver” programme. He will test the Aston for the first time at Portimão in Portugal this weekend (26-27 Feb).
Having raced karts between 2004-11 Ross, who is hoping to secure further personal sponsorship for the year, contested the Celtic Speed Mini Cooper Cup (2012), the Volkswagen UK Racing Cup & Scirocco R-Cup (2013) and was selected a BRDC “Rising Star” that year. The former Scottish Motor Racing Club Ecurie Ecosse Hub Cap Trophy winner and Knockhill “Young Saloon Car Driver of the Year” achieved six GT4 podiums from six races in his maiden BGT season in 2014. Last year, Ross netted six overall top-10 placings in the Von Ryan Racing McLaren 650S GT3.
Motorbase Performance, based near Brands Hatch – the venue in Kent that hosts the opening BGT race in April – was founded in 2004 by former Production Saloon racer David Bartrum. Motorbase won the 2014 BGT Teams’ title.
2016 British GT Championship
Round Date Circuit
1 16-17 April Brands Hatch
2 30 Apr-1 May Rockingham
3 & 4 28-30 May Oulton Park
5 11-12 June Silverstone
6 8-9 July Spa, Belgium
7/8 6-7 August Snetterton
9 10-11 September Donington Park
Ross Wylie (GB): Age 23. Born & Lives Thornhill nr Dumfries, Scotland:
“I’m really excited to be racing for the Motorbase Performance team in the 2016 British GT Championship and can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the Aston Martin for my first test this weekend at Portimão. I actually drove a GT3 Vantage after winning the GT4 title in an Aston in 2014 but went with a season of racing a McLaren 650S GT3 last year. Another new challenge for me will be competing in the PRO-AM category. My co-driver Phil [Dryburgh] has a lot of experience in the GT3 class and also with the Aston Martin, so I’m really looking forward to sharing the Vantage with him.
“I’m massively grateful to McLaren GT for the great experience of being part of its Young Driver programme last year. I learned a lot and it was fantastic to work closely with a manufacturer. Choosing what car to race this year has been extremely difficult but I’m sure I have made the right decision. Phil and I are fired up for the challenge and we are certainly not in the BGT to make up the numbers. I want to focus on putting some enjoyment back in to my racing after a tough 2015 season. I’m looking forward to working with Motorbase, a team that has a wealth of experience and is a very professional operation. I literally cannot wait for the first race in April – I’m so excited!”