Andrew Watson enjoyed his first victory of the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance season at the Nürburgring after leading an intense battle to take the Silver Cup win alongside the lead of the championship.
Hopeful of a strong showing, Andrew and his Garage 59 team-mates Valentin Hasse-Clot and James Pull, started the weekend in fine form by placing the #159 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 as the fastest Silver Cup runner during practice. The team’s combined efforts then saw them qualify third in class for the race.
Elected to start the six-hour race, Andrew settled in and was determined to make up ground to his rivals in front. As drama unfolded ahead, he was forced to take avoiding action and dropped down the order as a result. With the team altering the strategy to help push the car back up the order, Andrew ran a stunning double stint and had recovered back to second place in class before handing over to Hasse-Clot.
From there, Andrew’s efforts allowed Hasse-Clot to take the lead during the mid-way stage of the race before Pull took over for the conclusion, where he crossed the line just 0.242s ahead of the #78 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini to confirm the team's triumph.
“A huge congratulations to the entire team - they’ve worked so hard and the car felt amazing,” said Andrew. “We were unlucky at the start of the race to drop down as we did but collectively we pushed hard to recover, I did as much as I could during my stint as did Valentin and James really held strong at the end. The result is a great reward for all the team’s efforts and it’s a great confidence boost to have a win in the bag as we now look ahead to Spa-Francorchamps next month.”
Following their second-place podium in Imola, victory at the Nürburgring means Andrew and the Garage 59 team head the Silver Cup standings on 51 points as the Endurance series gears up for the highlight of the season, the Total 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, taking place from 22-25 October.
Images courtesy of Garage 59.