Scottish youngster nets win and fourth in Aston Martin at Oulton Park
Ross Wylie claimed a sensational victory and a fine fourth place “recovery” in the opening two races in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Oulton Park today (21 Apr) to mark his series debut in style.
Wylie, aged 22, from Thornhill, lies second in the GT4 standings after the two one-hour races around the 2.692-mile Oulton track that also marked his first race in an Aston Martin and for Beechdean Motorsport.
“It’s been a great start of the season for me,” confirmed Wylie. “Winning here 12 months ago on my Oulton debut in the Volkswagen race only to come back for the first time and win again probably makes it my favourite track!”
Ross started from class pole after a storming performance in qualifying on Saturday. In the opening race on Easter Monday, the Scottish youngster impressively staved off intense pressure for much of his opening 27mins stint from reigning GT4 champion Rick Parfitt Jnr before the latter retired.
Wylie pitted the Aston Martin Vantage under a full course caution that occurred just as the compulsory pit-stop “window” opened which ultimately handed Ross’s co-driver Giddings a one lap lead advantage enabling him to coast home to earn himself and Wylie a comfortable maiden BGT victory.
“I’d qualified on class ‘pole’ for the opening race ahead of reigning GT4 champion Parfitt. He put me under pressure in the race but I was also trying to drive conservatively as the front tyres weren’t coming up to temperature affecting the grip level. He kept me on my toes and it was a bit of a relief when he disappeared from my mirrors. Then we were handed a one lap lead due to the positioning of the Safety Car.”
For race two, co-driver Giddings qualified third fastest on the GT4 grid but dropped to the tail of the field when an electrical gremlin briefly cut the Aston’s power. However a Safety Car period plus some consistently fast laps from both drivers enabled Wylie to finish fourth – a mere 0.308secs away from third place – despite the Wylie/Giddings Aston being “held” for an additional 15secs during their pit stop due to their earlier victory.
Wylie reflected: “The Aston cut out on Jake as the cars went around before the start so we were half a lap down. That issue combined with the 15secs win ‘penalty’ made life difficult.
“It was good fun driving from the back to fourth place and more importantly good experience for me in terms of overtaking. I’m not hugely disappointed – you have to deal with these stresses in motor racing.”
The third round of the 10-race series is staged at Rockingham, a two-hour race on Bank Holiday Monday (5 May).
Ross concluded: “Jake and I can’t let our guard down – this is only the beginning and we mustn’t lose focus just because of success in the opening two races.
“There’s still more to come from me, I’m finding time in myself every time I hit the track.”
* Editorial copyright free photographs of Ross Wylie from Oulton Park featured