Donaghmore driver Andrew Watson says podiums and GT Am wins are a distinct possibility when he makes his long-awaited foray into the Asian Le Mans Series with Optimum Motorsport next month.
Watson will contest all four, four-hour sprint races alongside Nick Moss and Joe Osborne at the wheel of a McLaren 720S, starting with a double-header at the Dubai Autodrome on February 12th and 13th.
The series will then move to Yas Marina Circuit the following weekend where two further races will conclude the championship. These will be played out in a mixture of day, night and twilight conditions, with the overall GT Am champions guaranteed a place on the grid at this summer’s Le Mans 24 Hours.
“I’m going in with really high hopes,” said Watson. “The team and the driver line-up are both top class, so it’s a great opportunity to have a crack at winning the championship with them.
“I have never done the Asian Le Mans Series before, and have never raced at either track, but I will be aiming for the top step. I’ve been eyeing this up for a few years now and it’s a nice way to start 2022.”
Watson spent all of last season competing in an Aston Martin Vantage AMR in the World Endurance Championship with D’Station Racing and insists the change of car does not present a problem to him.
“I have so much GT3 experience now, it is pretty easy to get up to speed [in any of these cars],” he explains. “For me, the line-up is far more important and in Joe and Nick you have two very fast drivers.
“We have some testing planned before the first race, so hopefully that will allow me to get to grips with the car and the tracks quickly,” he added.
“I did a lot of driving in the previous McLaren GT model – the 650S – so I’m sure that will provide me with a good base to work from. Another positive is the tyres; I have been on a similar Michelin in the World Endurance Championship, so that should help.”
The Team Principal of Optimum Motorsport is equally as bullish about Watson’s, Moss’ and Osborne’s chances of doing well in this season’s Asian Le Mans Series.
“Nick and Joe are already such a strong driver pairing,” said Shaun Goff, “and by adding Andrew to the line-up, it will make us even stronger. Andrew is young, energetic, and a tough racer, so I am excited to see what he can do out on track.”