Scotsman places seventh in longest race of the year

Ross Wylie scored his best British GT Championship result of the season when the Scotsman and fellow McLaren GT “Young Driver” Andrew Watson finished seventh in the Silverstone 500 (31 May). The Wylie/Watson Von Ryan Racing McLaren 650S GT3 sportscar, displaying a St Andrew’s Hospice logo, clocked up 74-laps, 230-miles, in the three-hour race – finishing less than 20secs off delivering a podium result.

Their McLaren started the season’s longest race from the fifth row of the 33-car grid, Wylie at the wheel in the wet conditions. A Safety Car period lasting 23mins saw Watson briefly take over but it was Ross back in the McLaren when the race re-started their now slick tyre shod 650S GT3 running 12th on the damp track at one-third distance.

As the final scheduled pit-stops took place, Wylie pitted from second place with an hour remaining. Watson resumed ninth but was fifth with 20mins remaining after another Safety Car phase lasting 13mins to clear debris off the track. But the full course caution allowed the more experienced “pro” (professional) drivers to close in on Watson, having his first season in the highly-competitive GT3 category, and was unfortunate to lose two places with a mere six minutes remaining. Ross drove 41-laps of the race.

Wylie’s next race is the championship’s only overseas event of the season, a two-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

Ross Wylie (GB): Age 23. Born & Lives Thornhill nr Dumfries, Scotland:

“We achieved a good, steady result at Silverstone – it could have been better but we will take it! My first stint was very difficult in the wet, and I struggled with rear end grip. It wasn’t long before I was back in the car, on ‘slicks’ on a damp track, but it was a great call by the team and put us in a good position. My job then was all about holding a steady pace before handing the car back to Andrew. It was a good team effort by everyone and hopefully we can build on this for Spa.”

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