Danny Watts ended his and United Autosports’ season with a podium finish in the City of Dreams Macau GT Cup race. Part of the Macau Grand Prix weekend on the Guia Circuit.
Watts, who was part of the Strakka Racing line-up throughout this years’ FIA World Endurance Championship, rejoined the Anglo-American GT team for the race, driving one of their two McLaren MP4-12C GT3 cars in the race.
In a field of thirty cars Watts was among the front-runners all weekend, racing against former F1 driver Lucas di Grassi and defending race winner Edoardo Mortara, fresh from taking part in F1’s latest young driver test.
Starting the race from fifth place, Watts made up a place but was stuck in fourth when the safety car came was scrambled, Watts unable to make any more ground in the two laps left when racing resumed, crossing the line in fourth. However, he was quickly elevated to third, Di Grassi penalised from jumping the initial rolling start falling to 17th once his 60-second penalty was added to his race time.
“I’m absolutely delighted to get another podium here in Macau,” said Watts. “We improved the car in every session and in fact we found 3 seconds from qualifying to the race and the balance was fantastic. We were 3 seconds faster than last year which clearly shows all the hard work McLaren have put in over the last 12 months.”
For teammate Richard Meins – another familiar name in United Autosports’ teams – the Macau weekend was his first race in a GT3 McLaren ahead of taking his place in the squad’s Avon Tyres British GT Championship line-up for 2013.
A crash in the first of the two qualifying sessions left Meins starting mid-pack in 16th, still learning the handling of the car having previously driven AU’s Audi R8 LMS.
Despite the tight confines of a majority of the Guia Circuit Meins fought his way to eleventh during the course of the race, his progress coming to halt when he caught the rear of a group of drivers fighting over positions up to seventh.
“It was a frustrating weekend,” he admitted. “I had so little experience in the car which meant a lot of the time in Macau was more me leaning the car and it’s not really the place to do that! I think 6 laps of the 12 lap race was under safety car which did not allow enough time for much over taking although I was happy with my times in the final couple of laps, should really have been achieving these times much earlier in the weekend but that’s racing.”