Belfast Telegraph

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Watson dream comes true with crack at Suzuka 10-hour


By Sammy Hamill

Andrew Watson will tick off another box on his bucket list when he races in the 10-hour Suzuka round of the GT International Challenge at the Japanese Grand Prix circuit later this month.

The 23-year-old Donaghmore driver will join England's Ben Barnicoat and Frenchman Come Ledogar in Garage 59 McLaren 650s for the August 25/26 race, adding the Japanese track to the iconic circuits at Bathurst in Australia and Spa in Belgium he has already experienced.

"I've always wanted to race at Suzuka, so this is another tick on my bucket list," said Watson, who is a member of McLaren's young driver development programme.

"Having never raced there before, except on the simulator, it is going to be a challenge, but one I'm ready for. We have a strong team and a strong car, so there's no reason why we can't have a successful race and collect a good result in the 10 hours."

Watson, Barnicoat and Ledogar have already proved themselves as a strong combination in the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup.

Having started on the front row at the 1000km Paul Ricard, they then led the majority of the race before an unlucky late-race penalty saw them come home with a third-place finish.

Meanwhile, Charlie Eastwood will have a new team-mate for the next three rounds of the World Endurance Championship.

Aston Martin factory driver Johnny Adam is to join Eastwood and Sahil Yoluc in the TF Sport GTE Vantage, starting with the British round at Silverstone on August 19. Adam replaces Euan Hankey.

The Triton Showers Irish National Rally Championship resumes tomorrow in Tipperary after its enforced summer break due to the excessively hot weather, which twice led to the cancellation of the Sligo round.

Former champion Declan Boyle and Josh Moffett resume their battle on the Stonethrowers Rally based at Clonmel, where both will field uprated versions of their WRC Ford Fiestas.

Belfast Telegraph

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