McLaren GT “Young Driver” places impressive eighth at Spa on only second ever visit
Ross Wylie recorded his third top-nine race finish of the season in round five of the British GT Championship last weekend (11 July). The 23-year-old from Thornhill near Dumfries, and Von Ryan Racing co-driver Andrew Watson, claimed an encouraging eighth place at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. The Scotsman, racing around the dauntingly fast 4.352-mile Spa track for only the second time having won the GT4 category on his debut in the corresponding race 12 months ago, took the chequered flag one lap behind the winner in their VRR McLaren 650S GT3.
The combined efforts of Ross and Watson, the latter racing at Spa for the very first time, netted a seventh row start on the 34-car grid. Wylie started the two-hour race and ran just outside the top-10 in the opening phase before pitting from eighth place under the race’s third Safety Car period with 65mins to run. An excellent pit-stop by the team saw Watson resume sixth and with 15mins remaining looked set to better the duo’s best place finish of seventh achieved in the previous round at Silverstone. But a technical issue in the last quarter of the race resulted in Watson losing two places in the closing stages. The next race is staged at Brands Hatch on 2 August.
Ross Wylie (GB): Age 23. Born & Lives Thornhill nr Dumfries, Scotland:
“We achieved a solid eighth place. I had a good stint while Andrew did a great job to bring the McLaren home despite a technical issue which effected his pace near the end. Qualifying on Friday was okay. I set the 11th fastest time in my session and Andrew was 16th in his qualifying which meant we lined-up 14th overall on the grid. I had spun off on coolant dropped by another car early in the second practice session costing us valuable set-up time that put us on the back foot. But it was great racing at Spa for a second time – and the first time in a GT3 class car. It wasn’t the result Andrew and I were hoping for but we have loads of positives to take forward. The team did a great job, working endlessly and giving us a very good car. We will keep pushing and I’m sure we will get the podium result we are aiming for very soon.”