Irish racer Andrew Watson is busy preparing for his first full season in the Ginetta Junior Championship with new team Douglas Motorsport. The Checkered Flag spoke with Andrew at the recent Ginetta Media Day to get his thoughts ahead of the new season.
Watson competed in the Ginetta Junior Ireland championship throughout 2011, before heading over to the UK for his debut in the Ginetta Junior Championship in the final rounds at Silverstone. Despite it being his first time racing a Ginetta G40J, Watson enjoyed a strong weekend with a best result of sixth in .
Watson said: “It was a bit of an eye-opener really, the racing was very close. In Ireland there's four or five guys on the pace, whereas over here everyone is on the pace. I really enjoyed it, the racing was great and it was a really good weekend with all the people around and the spectacle of it.
“I was delighted to get a sixth as I think I had the pace for that sort of position all weekend, but just had a very bad qualifying where I ended up thirteenth. Other than that I was happy with how it went and it was a good first weekend.”
Watson is now preparing for his first full season in the UK series, which brings a host of challenges for the Irishman. Watson will have to adapt to the new tracks, a new team and overcome his relative inexperience with the car, but is adamant he's going to pushing at the front of the grid come the end of 2012.
Watson added: “The difference from last year is that there's a lot of people staying on, there's seven or eight guys coming back, compared to only three or four last year. This means there's a lot of experience out there, but we've done a bit of testing and hopefully that will help. To get in the top ten is the first aim and once you're in the top ten, you can go anywhere from there. Being in the top six consistently and a couple of podiums by the end of the year is my goal.”
After running with HHC Motorsport at Silverstone this year, Watson returns for 2012 with a different team, Irish outfit Douglas Motorsport. The team are new to the UK series, but with Watson having run with them before, he's confident they'll be a strong partnership.
Watson explained: “I ran with Douglas Motorsport in Ireland, as I'd known Wayne for a while and he had a good reputation. We went well over there and the team worked well together. He wanted to break into England as well as me, so we thought it was a perfect fit.”
Watson's preparations for the new campaign are already in full swing, having been out testing at Brands Hatch and Snetterton before the Ginetta Media Day at Silverstone.
Watson added: “We've done one day at Brands and I was third, just six tenths off in the 2010 spec car with the manual gearbox. That wasn't too bad, then we went to Snetterton and that was my first time there. It's a hard track and I was two seconds off, so we definitely have to get back there for another day.”