Andrew Watson kicked off the latest chapter of his career at Donington Park in the 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship in style with CarStore Power Maxed Racing, leaving the circuit as an Independent race winner and leader in the Jack Sears Trophy standings.
Andrew's Saturday began with consistent running in the two free practice sessions, finishing 12th and 14th respectively. After the successful running of practice, Andrew showcased his talent by securing a place in the 'top-ten showdown' with a brilliant lap rewarding him with P8. In the shootout that followed, Andrew would qualify 9th as he rounded out a fantastic opening day for himself and CarStore Power Maxed Racing.
A gloomy Sunday morning accompanied race day and a solid start from 9th place on the grid would see Andrew battling hard in the leading pack. Calling upon his years of sports-car experience, Andrew looked in his element and was able to pass his rivals with a superb display of race-craft.
As the race progressed, Andrew only grew in confidence and he had put himself firmly in a position to challenge for a place on the podium, before crossing the finish line in P4 to claim the Independent race victory. A superb achievement on debut.
With the ever changing weather conditions, drivers faced a different challenge in race two. Tyre choice was a huge factor with Andrew and the team opting for the slick tyre, as did the rest of the front runners. Starting from 4th, Andrew would once again hold his own amongst the leading cars. However, as the race progressed and the conditions worsened, Andrew struggled for grip which forced him to pit for wet tyres, eventually going on to finish the race in P21.
Starting towards the rear of the grid for the final race of the day, Andrew, this time on the wet tyre, would set some blistering lap times, as he began his charge through the field. By the fall of the chequered flag, Andrew had climbed up through the order to gain 11 places, finishing the race in a throughly deserved P12. After his mightily impressive displays in Sunday's racing, Andrew leaves the opening round of the season in 8th place in the drivers' standings on 17 points and the overall leader of the Jack Sears Trophy with 50 points respectively. The technical Brands Hatch Indy circuit now awaits for Andrew as he looks to continue his maiden season in the BTCC on the 6-7 May.
Speaking about the opening weekend, Andrew Watson said: “I’m honestly over the moon with how this weekend has gone. We were hoping to be up there in the Jack Sears, so to be amongst the front runners overall is such a fantastic testament to how everybody at CarStore Power Maxed Racing is gelling together. “It was particularly fun in that last race; I’d say it was my first ‘proper touring car race’, after the weather played a role in the first two. The car felt alive, I think we can have a lot of fun with this Vauxhall Astra this year."
Imagery courtesy of Car Store Power Maxed Racing