DUBLIN STUDENT RELISHING A RE-VISIT TO SUCCESSFUL STOMPING GROUND BRANDS HATCH
Trinity College Dublin student Andrew Watson is setting his sights high for the next round of the British GT Championship on Sunday (2 Aug). The 20-year-old McLaren GT “Young Driver” returns to the famous Brands Hatch Grand Prix venue aiming to post his first top-six finish of the year. Both Watson and Scottish co-driver Ross Wylie are racing for McLaren GT, Von Ryan Racing and in the powerful GT3 category for the very first time.
Due to their driver grading by championship organisers, their McLaren must carry a weight ballast of 70kg. Despite this handicap, Andrew and Ross have commendably recorded three top-10 placings in their McLaren 650S GT3 – including a best place seventh at Silverstone in May.
In Watson’s short racing career, racing at Brands Hatch has been both an enjoyable and successful experience. At Brands last year in the Ginetta GT4 SuperCup, Andrew achieved pole-position, a race win and fastest race lap on the Brands “Indy” circuit. Later in the season, Andrew recorded two further race victories and fastest race lap on the Brands “Grand Prix” circuit.
Andrew Watson: “Brands GP track is a great circuit for me. I won three races at Brands last year, including two at the final Ginetta GT SuperCup event. It’s the best track in the UK for me in terms of driving pleasure. It’s fast and flowing and really rewards you if you are driving well. My confidence is high going into the Brands race and I know I’m fast there so I’m going to be pushing like crazy all weekend. If Ross and I can both turn in the same lap times and get qualifying right allowing us to start near the front of the grid and avoid the carnage in the mid pack, we can be on the podium.
“We could have easily been in the top-six in recent races. Unfortunately in the last race at Spa, we lost all of the second practice when Ross skated off on coolant from a car in front of him on his first lap which hurt us massively in terms of losing precious set-up time. Qualifying turned out to be my sixth ever lap around Spa! Our McLaren is good and it is fast but the weight penalty is making life very difficult. I’m driving the wheels off the car and pushing like crazy but it can be a losing battle sometimes due to the extra weight. But Von Ryan Racing and McLaren GT are working 24/7 to give us the very best package.”