Driver Spotlight: Andrew Watson

12th December 2023

Andrew Watson (CarStore Power Maxed Racing) 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 participate in 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.

For the 2013 and 2014 seasons, Watson switched to the Ginetta GT4 Supercup and ran with his long-term team Douglas Motorsport once again. He finished the 2013 season in seventh place overall in the standings with 372 points and battled familiar faces to the BTCC grid such as Tom Ingram. He improved the following season where he finished fourth with 640 points.

In 2015, Watson was promoted to the British GT Championship driving a McLaren 650S GT3 for Von Ryan Racing as part of the McLaren Young Driver Programme. He competed in the GT3 class, a step-up from the GT4 class he was previously in.

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, only 20 seconds behind the podium places. He also raced in four races of the International Open GT Championship, scoring one race win and one pole position. In addition, Watson competed in the Sepang 12 hours and secured a class victory.

2016 – 2019 Watson ran in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup with Garage 59. They ran a McLaren 650S GT3 until 2019 when they switched to an Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

His 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 secured a podium position at the 1,000 kilometres of Paul Ricard as the #58 Garage 59 McLaren qualified on the front row and led for the majority of the race, before eventually coming home in third place – his first overall podium finish in the Blancpain GT Series.

Watson was selected to join the Gulf Racing team in the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship. Racing a Porsche 911 RSR, Andrew collected his maiden World Championship podium in Bahrain as the team finished third in the GTE-Am Class. He also made his debut in the Aston Martin Vantage GTE, as he featured in the FIA World Endurance Championship Rookie Test with Aston Martin Racing.

He made his Daytona 24 Hours debut in January 2020 after securing a late drive with Aston Martin Racing. Replacing the injured Paul Dalla Lana, the Northern Irishman joined Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda and Ross Gunn in the #98 Aston Martin Vantage GT3. However, the team did not finish the race due to a crash after 189 completed laps.

On his fourth appearance at the Bathurst 12 Hours, Watson celebrated a podium finish. Watson, along with Garage 59 team-mates, finished third in the Silver class and 14th overall at Mount Panorama behind the wheel of an Aston Martin Vantage GT3.

In January 2023, it was announced that Watson would drive for CarStore Power Maxed Racing in the 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, driving a Vauxhall Astra. This would be his first time in touring car racing, and his first time racing a front-wheel drive car.

The Northern Irishman impressed on debut, qualifying ninth at the first round at Donington Park, ahead of team-mate Árón Taylor-Smith and fellow rookie team-mate Mikey Doble. In the first race of the weekend, he climbed five positions to finish fourth overall.

His momentum continued through the rest of the season as he secured two podiums at Knockhill and Silverstone. He finished 15th overall in the Driver's Championship however took the Jack Sears Trophy title after close battle with his teammate Doble for most of the season. © 2024
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