Andrew Watson's chance to show his eastern promise
Andrew Watson's stock within the McLaren Racing organisation continues to rise. He has been included in the Chinese-backed FFF Racing team for this weekend's Sepang 12-hour race in Malaysia.
The 20-year-old Trinity College student from Donaghmore in Co Tyrone is part of McLaren's Young Driver squad, primarily contesting the 2015 British GT championship with Scot Ross Wylie. But McLaren expanded his programme to include European races with their satellite teams where he has been a race winner.
Now Watson gets his first opportunity to take part in his first major endurance race, joining Japanese driver Hiroshi Hamaguchi and Italian Andrea Calderelli in a McLaren 650S GT3 for the December 11-13 event at the Sepang grand prix circuit.
Watson, who came through the ranks of the Ginetta championships, admits it will be "a real test".
"Until now my longest stint in a GT3 car has been an hour but it is a great opportunity and has come about through the McLaren Young Driver scheme which has opened doors for me and allowed me to go and try different series," said Watson.
"But this is very different and I have been training hard as the temperatures and high humidity will make it a very physical race. I've also spent a fair amount of time getting to know the circuit on the simulator."
Watson will be joined in the Sepang race by fellow Ulsterman Steven Kane who will drive a GT3 Bentley Continental along with Guy Smith and new French team-mate Vincent Abril.
The end-of-season Killarney Historic Rally was cancelled due to flooding and fallen trees caused by Storm Desmond.