TRIBUTES FLOW FOR GRAHAM WATSON AS GOLD STAR ICON TO BE REMEMBERED AT WAKEFIELD Round two of the 2009 Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship at Wakefield Park this weekend (April 24 - 27) is to become a fantastic tribute to the life of the...
TRIBUTES FLOW FOR GRAHAM WATSON AS GOLD STAR ICON TO BE REMEMBERED AT WAKEFIELD
Round two of the 2009 Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship at Wakefield Park this weekend (April 24 - 27) is to become a fantastic tribute to the life of the late Graham Watson, with details announced today by Formula 3 Australia.
Watson sadly passed away last week after a brief battle with cancer - but has been remembered since as one of the key contributors to Australian Motorsport during the past 30 years.
Along with Shannons Nationals categories including the V8 Commodore Cup, Sports Sedans, V8 Touring Cars and the Australian Manufacturers Championship, the F3 Australian Drivers Championship grid will remember one of their own with a series of tributes during the weekend.
During his years in the sport Graham was responsible for spotting and developing many young drivers that have gone on to success both in Australia and internationally, including the likes of Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon and Will Power.
"Anyone who drove for Graham would know that he enthusiastically followed a driver's career well after they drove for his team," Said Team Penske IndyCar driver Will Power, a Gold Star champion with Watson in 2002.
"He was always very keen to help his drivers, past and present, and to do his best to ensure they could step up to the next level. When you see some of the drivers he's been involved with over the years you can see that he had one of the very best eyes for young talent in both Australia and New Zealand.
"He was genuinely a great guy, a huge ambassador for motorsport and he will be dearly missed. There are not many people around like him."
A brief memorial will be held Saturday morning, at the conclusion of an ANZAC Day service to be held at the circuit.
Then, prior to each of Sunday's two Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship races, ex-RALT driver and 2004 Gold Star champion Neil McFadyen will lead the F3 grid around on a parade lap driving a classic RALT RT4.
Watson, in his 30-year career as Australia's RALT Distributor, imported more than 30 of the famous chassis' into Australia and many continue to be raced in historic open wheel categories around Australia.
The RT4 was one of the defining cars of the mid-1980s Gold Star era and delivered two titles for John Bowe, and one for Watson himself in 1986.
The RT4 to be utilised at Wakefield Park was recently restored by Watson and his team at the RALT base north of Sydney.
Additionally, all Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship cars will carry ‘For Wattie' stickers throughout the weekend and the remainder of the 2009 championship.
Formula 3 Australia will also make a major announcement on Saturday morning regarding a significant, long-term tribute to Watson that will make up a key part of the Australian Drivers Championship for years to come.
Speedweek's (on SBS) coverage of the Shannons Nationals round from Wakefield Park will also be dedicated to Watson's memory.
Round two of the 2009 Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship gets underway at Wakefield Park this Friday, April 24th.
British driver Joey Foster leads championship after scoring a perfect 44 points at the Clipsal 500 in March. The Team BRM driver leads Mat Sofi (24), Ben Crighton (18) and Tim Macrow (15) after scoring the first ‘perfect' round score since 2005 on the Adelaide streets.