Andrew Watson (racing driver)

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Andrew Watson
NationalityBritish
Born (1995-01-21) 21 January 1995 (age 24)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup career
Debut season2016
Current teamGarage 59
Car number59
Previous series
2013Ginetta GT Supercup

Andrew Watson (born 21 January 1995) is a racing driver from Belfast, Northern Ireland, currently competing in the Blancpain GT Series driving for Garage 59. In 2014, he finished fourth overall in the Ginetta GT Supercup. He has been part of the McLaren GT Driver Academy since the program launch in 2015.

Racing career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Watson began his motor racing career at the age of 15, in the Ginetta Junior Ireland Championship, making regular podiums through to 2011. That year, Andrew joined Douglas Motorsport team to race in the final two rounds of the Ginetta Junior Championship at Silverstone.

2012 saw Watson contest the entire Ginetta Junior championship season, again with Douglas Motorsport. The season saw him deliver fifth place in the Championship, achieving six podium places, including second places and his maiden victory, with only two non-finishes out of the twenty-round season.

2013 – Ginetta GT Supercup[edit]

Andrew Watson Ginetta G55 Thruxton 2013

Watson's Ginetta Junior team decided to enter the senior competition, the Ginetta GT Supercup, using a Ginetta G55.[1]

At the first meeting of the season at Brands Hatch Indy circuit, Watson qualified second despite having little experience in the much more powerful G55 car. This translated to a seventh-place finish in round 1, followed by an eighth place in round 2, both on the Saturday. Round 3 was held on Sunday an even more impressive finish in fourth place cemented his arrival in the senior ranks.

Success at Donington Park at the second meeting of the year, was not so easy to repeat but Watson did qualify 3rd and managed to get the fastest lap in round 5.

Watson achieved his first podium in the GT Supercup, with a second-place finish in round 7, at the year's third meeting at Thruxton in Hampshire.

At Knockhill, Watson achieved pole position for round 18 (being the meeting's 1st race) on 24 August. This could not be converted to a maiden race win in the GT Supercup owing to him having to serve a drive-through penalty. He eventually finished the race in 10th place.

In round 20 at Knockhill, Watson led the race for 23 of the 24 lap race however he was overtaken for the lead by championship leader Tom Ingram. A last corner overtake saw Matt Nicoll-Jones take second place with Watson gaining holding on to third place.

Watson finished the season in seventh place overall in the standings with 372 points.

2014 – Ginetta GT4 Supercup[edit]

For the now renamed 2014 Ginetta GT4 Supercup, Watson stayed with long-term team Douglas Motorsport alongside a new teammate, Harry Woodhead, winner of the 2013 Ginetta Junior Championship.

Success came early, with pole position, fastest lap and a win in the opening round at Brands Hatch, followed by second and third-place finishes in the next two rounds. A further win at Thruxton in round 9 of the series, saw Watson leading the championship with 230 points.

Watson eventually finished the season in fourth place on 640 points.

2015 – British GT Championship[edit]

In 2015, Watson made a switch to the British GT Championship driving a McLaren 650S GT3 for Von Ryan Racing as part of the McLaren Young Driver Programme.[2] He is competing in the GT3 class, a step-up from the GT4 class he previously drove in the 2014 Ginetta GT4 Supercup.

Watson scored his best result of the season when he and fellow McLaren GT “Young Driver” Ross Wylie finished seventh in the Silverstone 500 in May 2015, only 20 seconds behind the podium places. The race at Silverstone was preceded by races at Rockingham and Oulton Park. At Oulton Park in April 2015, Watson and his teammate Ross Wiley placed a ninth-place finish in the second race, whilst at Rockingham in May 2015, the team retired from the race on the opening lap following a collision.

Watson also raced in 4 races of the International Open GT Championship, scoring 1 race win and 1 pole position. In addition, Watson competed in the Sepang 12 hours and secured a class victory.

2016 – Blancpain GT Championship[edit]

For 2016, Watson raced in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup with Garage 59 in a McLaren 650S GT3 as a member of the McLaren GT Young Driver Academy.

2016 also saw Watson make his debut at the famous Bathurst 12 hour race, where he finished a credible 9th overall on his first visit to the track.

2017 – Blancpain GT Championship[edit]

Watson continued to race in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup and also the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe again behind the wheel of the McLaren 650s, but this time representing Strakka racing in the 2017 Blancpain GT Series.

2018 – Blancpain GT Championship[edit]

Watson remained in the McLaren 650S GT3 racing with Garage 59 in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup. Andrew's 2018 highlights included achieving pole position in the AM class at the Blancpain 24 Hours of Spa and pole position in the PRO Class at Paul Ricard. Watson also achieved an excellent podium position at the 1,000 kilometeres of Paul Ricard as Andrew in the #58 Garage 59 McLaren qualified on the front row and led for the majority of the race, before eventually coming home in 3rd place - marking a proud moment in Andrew's career as he achieved his first overall podium finish in the Blancpain GT Series.

Watson also raced in the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe for 3Y in a BMW M6 GT3, which included race victory in the Silver Class at Brands Hatch.

2019 – Blancpain GT Championship[edit]

Watson's 2019 season will see him once again race in the European Blancpain GT Series. In a move which has seen Andrew rejoin the Garage 59 team, following their switch to the Aston Martin Vantage GT3's for the 2019 Blancpain campaign.

Racing record[edit]

Complete Career results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position – 1 point awarded in first race) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap – 1 point awarded all races)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Andrew Watson to graduate to Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup". Ginetta.com. Ginetta Cars. 13 February 2013. Archived from the original on 25 February 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  2. ^ "McLaren junior drivers to race in British GT in 2015". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2015.

External links[edit]

Year Team Car Class 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 DC Pts
2013 Douglas Motorsport Ginetta G55 G55 BRH
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7
BRH
2

8
BRH
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3
DON
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Ret
DON
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9
DON
3

Ret
THR
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13
OUL
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Ret
OUL
2

9
CRO
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7
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SNE
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7
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KNO
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5
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ROC
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2

4
SIL
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12
SIL
2

13
BRH
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10
BRH
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5
BRH
3

2
7th 372
2014 Douglas Motorsport Ginetta G55 G55 BRH
1

1
BRH
2

2
BRH
3

3
DON
1

5
DON
2

3
DON
3

9
THR
1

4
THR
2

4
THR
3

1
OUL
1

6
OUL
2

2
CRO
1

9
CRO
2

7
CRO
3

7
SNE
1

9
SNE
2

7
SNE
3

3
KNO
1

6
KNO
2

4
KNO
3

7
ROC
1

4
ROC
2

1
SIL
1

2
SIL
2

2
BRH
1

1
BRH
2

1
BRH
3

6
4th 640
2015 Von Ryan Racing McLaren 650S#GT3 McLaren 650S OUL
1

9
ROC
1

Ret
SIL
1

7