Andrew Watson collected his first FIA World Endurance Championship podium on the weekend as he and the #86 Gulf Racing Porsche finished 3rd in the LMGTE-Am class at the 8 Hours of Bahrain.
Racing alongside Mike Wainwright and Ben Barker in the Gulf Racing #86 Porsche 911 RSR for the fourth race of the 2019/20 season, Andrew was making his first ever appearance at the Bahrain International Circuit and used the weekend’s three practice sessions to get up to the demands of the 3.363-mile circuit.
The team showcased their one-lap pace prior to qualifying as they finished the final practice session of the weekend in 1st place. Teammates Mike Wainwright and Ben Barker were on qualifying duties on Friday and secured the team a 5th place starting position in the LMGTE-Am class.
Mike Wainwright started the race for the Gulf Racing #86 Porsche and got off to a solid start as he maintained 5th place before handing over to Ben Barker who managed to work his way up the field to 3rd place by the end of the second hour.
Jumping in the car for his first stint of the race, Andrew’s hour in the car saw him take the #86 Porsche 911 RSR from 3rd place into the lead of the race for the first time in his WEC career before he handed the car back over to his teammate.
Getting back in the car for his second stint, Andrew then set the second fastest lap of the race soon after leaving the pit box as he helped solidify the team’s 3rd place as they entered the final three hours of the race in Bahrain.
On his third and final stint, Andrew took the chequered flag for the Gulf Racing crew and he crossed the finishing line in 3rd place to secure his first FIA WEC podium of his career and the team’s first of the season. Andrew now sits 7th in the Drivers’ Championship standings, with the team occupying 6th.
“Probably one of the best days of my life! To get a podium in the World Endurance Championship is honestly a dream come true. A huge thank you to the Gulf Racing team and all the crew. My teammates did an amazing job and to have my family there to support me means the world.”
Andrew’s race in Bahrain was then followed by the FIA WEC Rookie Test as he joined the factory Aston Martin Racing team. Andrew’s impressive outing with the team saw the AMR Junior finish the day as the fastest of Aston Martin’s rookies.
“It was an amazing experience to do a few laps in the Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE and to work with the all the team at AMR - a huge thank you to everyone involved!”