Scotsman impresses in two-hour Rockingham race and posts career best GT3 result
Ross Wylie got his 2016 British GT Championship campaign off to a solid start when the Scotsman claimed an excellent fifth overall in the second round at Rockingham today (1 May). The 24-year-old from Thornhill near Dumfries was making his Motorbase Performance race debut after not getting behind the wheel in the opening Brands Hatch race when fellow Scot Phil Dryburgh, from Fife, was involved in a monumental multi-car accident which wrote of their Aston Martin Vantage.
The Wylie/Dryburgh Aston started ninth on the 27-car Rockingham grid – Ross having set the second fastest lap time in practice but then harshly had his sixth fastest lap time in qualifying excluded due to an alleged violation of track limits – a digression not backed up by video evidence later presented by the team.
Dryburgh, having completed lap one in 14th place when the Scottish businessman took to the grass in avoidance of an accident at Turn 3, ran eighth with 30mins gone and swapped to Wylie with 68mins remaining still in that position. Ross lay a confidence-inspiring fifth after the compulsory pit-stops had been completed – a position he comfortably held around the 1.94-mile Rockingham track to the chequered flag – a little over 20secs from achieving a top-three rostrum placing in the two-hour race – to record his best ever GT3 category race result.
Ross lies ninth in the overall championship Drivers’ standings despite missing out on scoring points in the opening race. The third and fourth rounds of the nine-race series are staged Oulton Park, Cheshire, on 30 May.
Ross Wylie (GB): Age 24. Born & Lives Thornhill nr Dumfries, Scotland:
“I’m delighted, it’s a solid result especially after the Brands dramas, and something that Phil and I can now build on. I had been particularly disappointed to be denied a third row race start – losing the time due to an apparent track violation. We showed clear video evidence that this was not the case but ultimately didn’t get the lap reinstated. Thankfully that was all forgotten 24 hours later with my first-ever top-five overall British GT race result.
“Phil made a good start but lost time in avoiding an accident at Turn 3. He recovered very well and pitted to me in eighth and importantly on the lead lap. The Motorbase Performance crew completed a great pit-stop for us despite having to do a push back when Phil came in. I lacked a little race pace midway through my stint, possibly down to my tyre management which I will learn from. Hopefully a top-five result is some reward for the tremendous effort the team has undertaken in getting a ‘spare’ chassis ready for us to use after our Aston Martin was written off at Brands combined with the fact that this car was racing at Monza last weekend. We’re planning at test at Oulton Park later this month prior to the next two races that are staged at the Cheshire venue. Oulton’s a great driver’s track, if somewhat fast and narrow for a GT3 car these days. The spectators will be in for treat with a packed grid.”