Ross demonstrates Allan McNish’s Le Mans car atGoodwood’s Festival of Speed
Ross Wylie has fulfilled a childhood dream in driving the actual Porsche 911 GT1-98 in which fellow Scot Allan McNish scored his first Le Mans 24 Hours win in. Wylie was given the tremendous honour of taking the priceless car up the hillclimb course at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend (13-15 Jul) by Porsche AG Museum personnel and Porsche Cars GB.
The race victory in 1998 launched a hugely successful sportscar career for McNish while the Dumfries driver’s success made a massive impression on the then six-year-old Wylie who lived nearby in Thornhill, sewing the seed for Ross to head to a career in motorsport himself and begin karting a few years later.
The Porsche GT1-98 was powered by a near 600bhp mid-mounted turbo-charged engine and was capable of speeds around 200mph on the famous Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans. Wylie is no stranger to the legendary German marque having netted third place in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Rookie Championship & 10th overall achieving seven overall top-10 placings.
Wylie now returns to Britcar Sprint Championship action at Donington Park on Saturday (21 Jul) when he teams up with David Mason in their FF Corse Ferrari 458 GT3 car attempting to cut the 24-point deficit to the series leader. Ross won the outright Britcar Endurance Championship last year.
Ross Wylie (GB):
Age 26. Born & Lives Thornhill nr Dumfries, Scotland:
“I was aged around 6 when I watched on television Allan [McNish] win his first Le Mans and the crazy thing is that I can still remember the final lap of the race and seeing him take the chequered flag. I still have a model of the car at home. I’d dreamt about sitting in this iconic car but to actually drive it, and up the hill at the Festival in which Goodwood was celebrating the event’s Silver Jubilee on Porsche’s 70thbirthday year, was totally crazy. My heart rate was definitely sky-high lining up on the start line but as I dropped the clutch and smoked the rear tyres off the line there was no better feeling. I definitely felt emotional simply with the passion I have for the car and the history it holds. I know how big a part this car had in Allan’s [sportscar] career and to experience a small part of that is something I will never forget. My sincere thanks to the Porsche Museum and Porsche GB for the incredible opportunity. Goodwood was an incredible weekend, the place had such a buzz to it – definitely a highlight in the motorsport season.
“My ‘18 motorsport season has been lots of fun so far and I’m really enjoying my time with my new team-mate David [Mason] and the FF Corse squad in the BritCar Championship and we currently lie second overall in the Sprint Category. The pace this year has been good, executing two pole-positions plus five overall fastest laps from the opening six races. That said, we haven’t quite been able to get the monkey off our back this year in terms of race wins but we are always knocking on the door. Consistency is key to winning championships rather than the odd outright win but of course I want to be winning races. David and I recently conducted a two-day test in Belgium, at Spa then Zolder, ahead of our next outing at Donington Park this weekend. It was my first-ever visit to Zolder and I really enjoyed it. It’s a very old circuit and I really loved the historic feel to it and history Ferrari hold there having won four F1 Grands Prix.”