Andrew Watson and his #159 Garage 59 squad recorded a Silver Class podium finish at Mount Panorama on Sunday as they collected a second-place finish after a grueling twelve hours of racing.
Heading straight from the Daytona 24 Hours, Andrew Watson joined Bathurst rookie team-mates Olivier Hart and Roman De Angelis in the Garage 59 #159 Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Setting a good pace in practice, Andrew then qualified the team in second place in the Silver Class, and 20th overall.
Starting the race in the darkness of Sunday morning, Andrew started the race for the team and avoided any trouble at the start of the race. With Andrew the only driver of the three-man team to race at Bathurst, he led the attack with some fantastic driving and assisted his rookie teammates so they too could maintain quick stint times.
As the race claimed almost a dozen of cars through incidents and accidents, including the sister #188 car of which Andrew narrowly avoided, the team eventually crossed the finishing line after twelve-hours of hard racing third in the silver class but a post-race penalty for a competitor promoted the team further up the order to second place!
“I’m delighted to be able to get a result for the team after all the hard work everyone has put in for this race,” said Watson. “This is my fourth time racing here so it’s great to finally get on the podium. It’s also my first podium with Garage 59 so I’m really happy about that. My two new teammates did everything we asked them to do. They were fast and strong and stayed out of trouble when so many people were having accidents. You wouldn’t know they were Bathurst rookies. This is a great way to start the year!”
Andrew’s next race takes him to the United States as he rejoins Gulf Racing in the World Endurance Championship for the Lone Star Le Mans at the Circuit of Americas (23 February).