I love these series where everybody has a similar car, it produces exciting racing.
This is what a proper racing driver looks like- remember this face, he's going to do well.
The car has a few battle scars but will be back next year.
Josh Watts First full race Brands Hatch 21/22 October 2023
It has to be said that every sports person, particularly those involved in motorsport, require a modicum of luck to help them on their way. Anyone that has competed at any level will understand the frustration when things that you have no control over go wrong. Often champions are made by the bad days rather than the good days, normal people give up while the champions brush themselves down and get on with the business of winning.
Some of you may be aware that Josh has had a couple of accidents – not too surprising really, only those that risk going too far will find out just how far they can go. He has, however, shown remarkable fortitude in getting back in the car and getting right back on it.
He finally got the chance to run a full and proper race at October's BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship at Brands Hatch, albeit starting from the back. That thing we call luck had played an unwelcome part, the Devil had urinated in his pocket and dicked about with his electrical system. He was clearly fast but the car kept popping a fuse, which was cutting the supply to the ECU.
Matters were not helped by the entire field of 23 cars all attempting to win race 1 at the first corner and groups of 5 cars were all trying to aim for a gap that barely existed. The carnage was inevitable and impressive, the result immediate. Flame Airikkala – Grand Daughter of Pentti – ended up on her roof, nearly every car was damaged and the organisers had to do something. A meeting was called, footage was analysed, bollockings were forthcoming. It ended up with just 9 cars of the 23 ending the race, it will be interesting to see what they do for next year, in my opinion they have to introduce penalties to try and offset the testosterone overload and dangerous driving has to be rewarded with serious punishment eg lost points, disqualification, electrocution and / or removal of body parts.
Anyway, Josh started Sunday's race from the back with instruction from Malc and Fiona to take it easy, stay away from any impending carnage and get some race time in. It was only a short race, just 15 minutes with 22 cars running, Flame had decided discretion was the better part of valour and withdrew. The guys at 2010 Racing were confident that they had sorted the wiring gremlins out, it turned out they were right and the car was at last running reliably.
He did what he was told, fortunately it was a much cleaner race than Saturday's farce and soon he started making his way up the field. He had passed 7 cars when somebody decided to do a bit of drifting in front of him, which compromised his progress significantly. He wisely took to the grass, got himself back on track and set about his business with great panache. He didn't get shown much on the live feed as the tv companies are only ever interested in the top 5 so watching it at home was really frustrating, the timing board helped a lot in understanding what was going on though. There was some Olympic standard swearing went on when his position took a tumble but he did brilliantly to get the car back on track and straight back in to the hunt. I had to reassure my Mrs that the profanity was not aimed at her, fortunately being a lady she most likely didn't understand the words that accidentally came out anyway.
He ended up an incredibly respectable 15th, his best lap time was just 0.23 seconds off the best lap time set by the 3rd placed driver – a much more experienced young man that is going on to another series next year. To gain so many places in such a short race in a field of identical cars is a remarkable achievement, all the more remarkable given that it was his first full race. I think from analysing the timings that had he not been compromised he may have just squeezed a top 10 finish – certainly top 12.
He's put in some blindingly quick laps in testing and practice, now he has shown he can do the business in a proper competitive situation, next year is going to be a very interesting season for him, I suspect followers of the series will be hearing his name a lot. He definitely has Leggate / Watts blood in him, with a few more events under his belt and a bit more experience he's going to be a super star. You heard it here first.