ON DEBUT FOR A1 TEAM GBR
A1 Team Great Britain’s Danny Watts finished in third position in both the Sprint and Feature races at Chengdu, China. Danny Watts yesterday led A1 Team Great Britain to a double podium finish at the Chengdu International Circuit in China on his debut race weekend for the team.
The result rewarded the team with 16 crucial points as it gets its championship campaign underway The grid got away cleanly after the rolling start to the 18-lap Sprint race, with Danny fighting wheel to wheel with Switzerland’s Neel Jani on the first corner. The GBR driver moved around the outside of Jani, taking third place from remaining around four seconds behind the front pairing of Ireland and the Netherlands and, despite facing intense pressure from Jani on the final four laps, came through to finish on the podium on his debut race for the British squad.
In the Feature race, Danny made a good start from pole position, leading the pack into the first corner ahead of Portugal’s Filipe Albuquerque and Ireland’s Adam Carroll and retained the lead on the restart after a brief safety car second position, with Portugal having leapfrogged him after the stop. The British squad moved down to third on lap 26 after Ireland also jumped ahead following the second round of pitstops. Danny had emerged from his own stop behind the backmarkers,, which held up his progress. A second safety car was deployed on lap 39, and Danny maintained a strong third after the restart five laps later, and crossed the finish line to take the final podium position.
Danny Watts: Sprint Race:
“It’s a great result and a great reward for all the hard work all the boys have put in over the week, because they have put in a massive amount of hours through the nights. The third place is good points on the board. I had a good move round the outside of Jani at the first corner and I just had to pursue it. After that it was just a case of trying to hold onto the back of Ireland and the Netherlands. I had to keep it clean and tidy and not let Jani by again.”
“We are really pleased with third – we came out in an unfortunate place after the second pitstop but that’s racing, unfortunately it worked against us. But we never would have thought we would go away with two podiums after arriving when the car was still in bits. The podiums have to go to the mechanics because they have worked so hard. There’s been a huge effort from everyone on the team and I’m so glad that we’re going away from the weekend with a big haul of points. It’s been a privilege and an honour to drive for Great Britain, I’ve had a great weekend and hope that I have contributed.” Katie Clements, Team Principal: “We cannot be disappointed with two podiums. I have to thank again the entire team superhuman effort to get the car prepared and all that work has paid off today. Danny has done an incredible job for us on his debut, especially considering he hasn’t raced a singleseater in more than two years. We are leaving Chengdu as a very happy team and are very excited at the prospect of what we could achieve in Malaysia in two weeks time.”
A1GP Round 2 Sprint Race 1. Ireland (Adam Carroll) 2. Netherlands (Robert Doornbos) 3. Great Britain (Danny Watts) A1GP Round 2
Feature Race 1. Portugal (Filipe Albuquerque) 2. Ireland (Adam Carroll) 3. Great Britain (Danny Watts)