Having just completed the mammoth task of running in the New York Marathon (Sunday 2 November), returning to motor racing – and in a historic Ford Mustang - is going to seem like a walk in the park for former BTCC racer Patrick Watts, when he joins the Masters Top Hat grid in 2009.
After concentrating successfully on historic rallying for several seasons, including winning the British title in another classic Mustang, Patrick has decided to return to racing in 2009 and has acquired the 1965 Mustang last raced in Masters Top Hat by Rupert Clevely.
Watts’ NY Marathon run raised money for the 'Children with Leukaemia' charity and his total is already heading for £4000. "If you have never run even a half marathon before you will have no idea that running is a masochistic past time enjoyed only by people who would otherwise be removing their own teeth with pliers or doing tax returns," said Patrick.
"It is a small but welcome compensation that all the torture endured will raise money for directly helping children and families much less well off than ourselves."
Once his body has recovered from 26 miles of punishment, Watts will turn his attention back to motor sport. "I’ve bought the very nice Appendix K Mustang to do a few Top Hat races next year," said Watts. "I'll still do a few rallies in my original Sunbeam Tiger, but DTV333C will be sold to the highest bidder over £30,000, in order to appease the present Mrs Watts."
Watts plans to race the Mustang in the major events such as the Masters Historic Festival at Brands, Donington and Spa. "And I'd love to do the Goodwood Revival if I am deemed old enough or famous/infamous enough," he said. "The Mustang has only done three races including winning its class at Spa in September, so it must be good."
Masters’ Christopher Tate said: “This is great news! To have a driver of Patrick’s calibre, another former BTCC racer, competing with us is a feather in our cap, proving once more that the races for Top Hat pre-1966 saloons are the cream of the historic touring world. Now, just maybe we should persuade former BTCC champion Frank Sytner to add to his Grand Prix Masters outings and come out and give Patrick a race some time!”