Young Scotsman fortunate to walk away from wrecked race car
Ross Wylie returned home to Scotland this week battered and bruised but counting his lucky stars he had incurred no serious injuries after surviving a 100mph impact.
The 21-year-old from Thornhill was nudged in to a high-speed spin on the penultimate lap when dicing for third place in the second round of the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on Saturday (1 June).
Wylie’s car spun almost 360 degrees off the track and came to rest on the grass facing the wrong way after he and two other cars went three abreast over a crest.
Ross attempted a U-turn to re-join the race unaware his Volkswagen’s suspension was broken and as he turned slowly back on to the track, his “crabbing” Scirocco was struck by another car on the right-hand side of Ross’s car at high speed causing the race to be abandoned.
Wylie reflected: “I was taken to the Medical Centre at the circuit then to a nearby hospital where it was diagnosed I’d strained my neck and badly bruised my left foot.
“It’s a blessing my Scirocco is left-hand-drive and that the impact was on the passenger door on the right-hand side.”
Wylie had set the fifth fastest lap time on a wet track on Friday – the first time he had ever driven on the track – then qualified 10th overall, sixth in the Junior category.
Consciously conserving his “push-to-passes”, a steering wheel mounted button allowing a driver to benefit briefly from an extra 50bhp 16 times during the race, Wylie slipped some places but was back up to seventh on lap nine and fifth by lap 10.
Ross continued: “I had saved my push to passes for the last half of the race and considering the amount I had left before the accident, second place was certainly achievable.
“Ahead of me two cars touched, I attempted to go around the outside as they lost momentum, but another car made contact with my rear wheel pushing me into a high speed spin in to the melee of cars and then the safety barriers.
“I was facing the wrong way on the grass so waited for a gap in the traffic before slowly rejoining the track. Unbeknown to me, my car’s front and rear suspension was broken causing me to crab across the track and in front of another car which helplessly ploughed in to the side of me.
“It was a real shame not only for me but the other driver involved but it was an unavoidable racing accident.”
The only consolation for Wylie was that the race results were declared the lap before his accident handing Ross fifth place overall – second in the Junior class – to earn him third place in the Junior title standings when he lined up 24 hours later for the second 12-lap race in a “spare” car after his normal race car was declared a “write off”.
“The series keeps a ‘spare’ car on standby so I raced that on Sunday,” said Ross. “However, the engine was down on power and I struggled home 13th overall and ninth in the Junior category which unfortunately dropped me from third to fifth in the Junior Championship.”
Wylie is next in action at Snetterton, Norfolk, for the fourth round of the APR Volkswagen Racing Cup on 16 June.
Ross concluded: “I’ve never raced at Snetterton but am testing there on Friday [5 Jun] to learn the track. After the mechanical and electrical problems I encountered in the second race in the previous round at Silverstone last month, I’m aiming for a good points haul to consolidate my third place in the UK series.”
* Editorial Copyright Photographs from Red Bull Ring, Austria, attached