Rising Scottish GT driver records first and second results at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
Ross Wylie, from Thornhill near Dumfries, and co-driver Jake Giddings swept their Beechdean Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage home into first and second positions in the two races marking a “dream” Spa debut for the Scotsman.
Wylie and Giddings, who went to Belgium with a seven-point advantage, now lead the series by 19-points with just two races to run.
“It was important to extend our lead and a first and second is almost a perfect weekend,” reflected Ross. “It was a great team effort – they had significant repairs to make to the Aston after the opening race.”
Wylie creditably qualified fourth fastest on the GT4 grid for the opening race despite it being his Spa debut – the 4.35-mile track allowing just two “flying laps” in the 15mins time trials on Friday afternoon.
Rain prior to the opening race on Saturday saw some of the cars start on wet “treaded” tyres and others on dry slick “treadless” ones – Wylie opting for the latter.
Ross reflected: “We made the right call to pit after the first installation lap to switch from wets to slicks even though it meant starting the race out of grid position behind the Safety Car.
“The start was a bit crazy with many of the more powerful GT3 class cars starting behind and coming past on the opening laps so I had to be a little careful.
“A Ginetta also hit me on the opening lap but apart from the early dramas I was happy with my stint which saw me hand over the Aston to Jake in third.
“The Beechdean team did a really good pit-stop and so in the final 15mins, Jake was pressing for the lead but just couldn’t find a way past a similar Aston Martin.
“Jake started the final lap challenging for the lead but took the chequered flag in third after another car had bumped into him causing damage to our Aston – a manoeuvre the officials took a dim view of because they moved us up to second place in the final standings when the other car received a time penalty for an ‘avoidable collision’.”
Giddings had also qualified fourth fastest the previous day so began Saturday’s second race from the second row of the GT4 grid, handed over to Wylie in third, while subsequent Safety Car periods benefitted the Wylie/Giddings Aston on this occasion resulting in the duo scoring their second win and eighth top-four placing of the season from eight races.
“I was panicking at the start of race two because Jake suffered a gear selection issue on the out lap but thankfully an electronics reset resolved the problem thereafter,” continued Ross.
“Jake did a good stint and handed the car over to me in third and unlike some of the other races this year the Safety Car worked in our favour and we got in front and stayed there.”
The penultimate round of the 10-race BGT is held at Brands Hatch in Kent on 31 August.
Report by Robin Wylie.