Dumfries and Galloway Race Ace, Ross Wylie heads to the final rounds of the GT Cup at Snetterton next month (2-3 Oct) leading the GTO category despite having to switch to a different car in the latest races.
Wylie, and co-driver Paul Bailey, had scored four GTO class wins in the previous five races at the wheel of their Brabham BT62 Competition – including an outright race win – but the BT62 was side-lined for last weekend’s event at Donington Park (18-19 Sep).
Wylie and Bailey were forced to race the latter’s nine-year-old McLaren MP4-12C Can Am at Donington, claiming second and first class placings over the weekend to keep their title challenge firmly on-track. It marked the first time Ross had raced a McLaren since 2015.
Bailey handed over the McLaren to Wylie placed sixth in their opening race with 23mins remaining. Ross resumed 21st in the multi-class 35-car field, impressively forcing his way into sixth with 16mins to go and catching the GTO class leader. A Safety Car period stunted the Scotsman’s progress while slower, back-marker traffic when racing resumed cost Ross further time, resulting in Ross taking the chequered flag fifth overall and second in class – just four-seconds behind the category winner.
In Sunday’s 50mins race, Wylie took over the McLaren with just 19mins left placed seventh overall – Bailey having been running sixth, first in class. Ross, fastest on track for many laps, brought the McLaren home fourth overall – just three-seconds off an overall podium – but importantly scoring a fifth GTO class win of the season.
The McLaren is a very rare car, chassis number one of a very limited three-car build by the esteemed British road and racecar manufacturer. Prior to last weekend, the McLaren had not been raced for eight years, Bailey competing in a Dutch SuperCar Challenge event at Zandvoort.
Meanwhile Wylie will contest the final three Porsche Carrera Cup GB events of the year with backing from the Bell Group, one of the largest Painting, Decorating and Building Maintenance contractors in the UK, beginning at Silverstone next weekend (25-26 Sep) followed by Donington Park (9-10 Oct) and Brands Hatch (23-24 Oct).
It marks a return to the ultra-competitive one-make series for Wylie who finished seventh in the 2020 series having scored nine top-six placings that included two podiums and an outright race win at Thruxton. Ross had made his debut in the series three years earlier, finishing third in the “Rookie” Championship, 10th overall, having netted seven overall top-10s. He also did four Porsche races in 2019, claiming four top-fives.
Ross Wylie (GB):
Age 30. Born & Lives Thornhill nr Dumfries, Scotland:
“I’m looking forward to the season finale at Snetterton next month. Paul and I maximised our chances of claiming the GTO class title with a class second place on Saturday and a class win on Sunday.
“Both races were straightforward for me. Paul handed the car over to me in competitive positions. It was a great experience driving yet another car in the GT Cup having previously raced a Ferrari and Brabham this year.
“It was 2015 when I last drove a McLaren, a 650S GT3 in the British GT Championship when I was a McLaren GT ‘Young Driver’. The MP4-12C Can Am was lovely to drive despite its relative age compared to some of the machinery we were up against and I feel privileged to have raced such a rare racecar.
“I’m really excited to be returning to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. I’ve been monitoring the season from the side-lines and it’s certainly an exciting season. I’m looking forward to see what I can do but I’ve no expectations.
“Returning to the Porsche series at Silverstone next weekend is pretty cool. It’s a track that I always enjoy racing at and the home of the BRDC which makes it extra special. I will be competing with Valluga Racing, run by Benji Hetherington, who I’ve known for a long time so it’s a real privilege to race under his banner and hopefully I can put on a good show.”