Trinity College Dublin student aiming to kick-start British GT Championship season
Andrew Watson makes an emotional return to Rockingham on Bank Holiday Monday (4 May) to contest the third round of the British GT Championship. The 20-year-old Trinity Dublin College student, races the Von Ryan Racing McLaren 650S GT3 sportscar in a two-hour race – the longest race Andrew has ever contested in his six-year motorsport career.
Watson last competed at the Northamptonshire circuit in September last year and claimed a fourth place and then a superb victory in two Ginetta GT4 SuperCup races. But the day was massively tinged with sadness for Andrew due to the death of his uncle back home in Northern Ireland.
His next race gives Watson the opportunity to record some solid points. In the opening two races on Easter Monday, Watson experienced the highs and lows of motor racing in his maiden BGT event. Andrew, challenging for the lead having impressively swept up from fifth to second place in the early stages of the opening race, made a small error resulting in retirement. But Watson and co-driver Ross Wylie (Scotland) bounced back in the second race of the day to record ninth place.
Andrew Watson (GB). Age: 20.
Born: Belfast, N. Ireland. Lives: Donaghmore, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland & Dublin. Éire.
“I’m determined to get my British GT title charge properly underway at Rockingham and Von Ryan Racing will give Ross and I a car to achieve a top result and record some solid points. I scored an emotional win at Rockingham last year, a victory I dedicated to my Uncle Rodney who had passed away just before the raceday. A two hour race will be something different for me, it’s a much longer [driving] stint time to what I have ever been used to in my career – an hour in the car will be no mean feat!
“The McLaren 650S GT3 is already a good car and we are close to where we want the handling to be. Given a fair Balance of Performance, we should do very well at Rockingham. It’s a track where you can find a lot of time with the right set-up. Tyre management will be critical as the surface is very abrasive. As a track, Rockingham is well suited to GT3 racing and I personally like it. It rewards good driving while there are plenty of places for overtaking. It’s also a track that has been very kind to me in terms of results.”