Danny Watts (Northampton) will begin this season as a favourite to win the Formula Renault UK Championship after signing to contest the series with the Fortec Motorsport team. Watts finished third in last year's championship with two race wins...
Danny Watts (Northampton) will begin this season as a favourite to win the Formula Renault UK Championship after signing to contest the series with the Fortec Motorsport team.
Watts finished third in last year's championship with two race wins and was also a finalist in the prestigious McLaren/Autosport Young Driver of the Year competition. In 2000, as team-mate to champion Kimi Raikkonen, he won the first ever race for the new carbon fibre Formula Renault category on Brands Hatch's Grand Prix circuit, which also sets the scene for this year's opening round on Easter Monday, 1st April.
By joining Fortec, which in its debut Formula Renault season in 2002 won two races, he is expected to be a benchmark for many of the drivers entering the championship for the first time. Likewise Mark McLoughlin (Milton Keynes), who has also signed for a third season in the championship, with the Paston Racing team.
Watts, aged 22, commented: "I have unfinished business in Formula Renault and this season I am fully focused on winning the title. Race wins are all I'm interested in and while I respect the fact there are a lot of extremely good drivers coming into the championship for 2002, none of them worry me. To me, they are there to be beaten. I know what it takes to win at this level and I'm going to stick to my own game plan."
Watts is Fortec's fourth signing: the team had previously announced karting aces Jamie Green (Broughton Astley), Katherine Legge (Hazlemere) and Brazilian Formula Chevrolet graduate Luciano Garcia (Pantanal).
Fortec Chairman Richard Dutton said: "We want to win the Formula Renault crown as a team. Danny is obviously very strong and gives us a great chance, but winning in 2002 is going to be harder than ever as there are plenty of new, young drivers who are hungry for the title. However, we have three more excellent young drivers and Motaworld Racing showed last season that by fielding a team full of quick drivers that goal is easier to achieve."
For all the latest Formula Renault news visit the official Renault UK motorsport website www.renaultsport.co.uk