Andrew Watson and his Garage 59 team endured a disappointing end to the Total 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps as the #159 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 was forced to retire in the tenth hour of the race.
Chosen to run in the second qualifying session, Andrew placed the car in second place in the Silver class before handing the car over to James Pull.
With their combined efforts, Andrew, Pull, Valentin Hasse-Clot and Roman De Angelis qualified the car fifth overall in class and the team were ambitious for a good performance in the race.
As the race progressed, Andrew delivered a strong stint and the team's fastest lap of the race to help push the car into the podium places, meaning hopes were high of a strong result to assist their championship title campaign.
After four hours of running, and with night drawing in, the team were running in third place. However, a collision with another car in the eighth hour left the Aston Martin with damage and forced Hasse-Clot to limp back to the pits for repairs.
Rejoining the race, the team were now tenth in the Silver class but the damage sustained was too severe for the car to continue and it was therefore retired two hours later.
The result means Andrew now sits third in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Silver Cup standings on 58 points with just one round remaining at Circuit Paul Ricard.
“It was a gutting way to end the weekend but that’s racing,” Andrew said. “The Spa 24 Hours is a race of attrition more than anything and sadly we fell victim to it. Despite that, we performed really well in the race to get up to the podium and things looked really good for us. We kept making progress in each stint and pushed forwards at every chance we got so I’m very proud of the performance we showed. I’d like to say thank you to the team for all of their hard work, especially in repairing the car and getting it back out on track, it’s a gruelling race and they were amazing throughout.”
Image courtesy of Garage 59.