DTC: Jason Watts hopes to be on the grid at Jyllands-Ring

Mechanics are presently working at high pressure in order to assure that Jason Watt will be getting his comeback in professional motor racing this coming weekend. The target is that the former Formula 3000 star, who was paralysed from the waist...

Mechanics are presently working at high pressure in order to assure that Jason Watt will be getting his comeback in professional motor racing this coming weekend. The target is that the former Formula 3000 star, who was paralysed from the waist down in a motorcycle accident last October, will be on the grid on Whit Monday for round three of the Danish Touringcar Challenge at the Jyllands-Ring.. "My team is working flat out at the moment, but nothing is sure yet," Jason Watt explains. "The car is ready except the gear change, which is causing us problems. When I am going to brake at the end of a straight, I will need to operate the steering wheel, the brake and the gear lever at the same time, which actually means that I am in need of a third hand." "I tested the car last Thursday and Friday at a closed-off industrial estate," Watt continues. "Accelleration, starting, clutch and braking are all working perfectly, but the problem is that so far it has not been possible to brake, gear down and turn at the same time. Braking and down-shifting have to be done at the same time, and that is my problem." Handicap car builders Sahva Auto is responsible for the special modifications to Jason Watt's Peugeot Sport Team 306 GTI, which has been equipped with a brake rod near the steering wheel. Right now Sahva Auto is working on a solution with air pressure and electrical motors helping with the down shifts, so that the end result will be some sort of semi-automatic gearbox. "On Tuesday we will have a better idea of whether it will work or not, and then hopefully we will be having a test on Friday, where I will be able to try the car at speed, and that will be decisive for whether I will race on Whit Monday or not," Watt explains. "On thing is that the gear shift shall work, but it shall work in such a way that it is both acceptable and securely. I don't expect that I will be a front-runner, but I shall be able to participate in a safe manner. The chance that I will be starting on the Jyllands-Ring this coming weekend is fifty-fifty, but if I won't be driving, it will be a big disappointment for me." Even though the 1999 Formula 3000 runner-up has done a shake down test with his Peugeot 306 GTI, he still does not have a clear feeling of the car as a racing car. "I have no idea of how the car really behaves," he says. "It seems very sensible with the right gearbox, and it smells like real racing. Michael Carlsen (the series leader, ed.) is doing quite well in the same model, so the car definitively works, but how I am going to get a feeling with car, I do not know. That I will have to try, but it is my clear ambition not to be last." Twice Jason Watt has started in the Danish Touringcar Challenge in the past. That happened during the inaugural season in 1999, when he replaced Kris Nissen and drove his Volkswagen Beetle to one third place finish. But since then much has happened to the class. "Danish Touringcar Challenge is racing at a high professional level. I am positively surprised about the class, and it is nice to see so many different drivers mixing it at the front. But this is only the beginning. Some teams have not been so well-prepared as they could have wished, but the latter part of the season will be very exciting. From round five in early September it will be really tough,"

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Series General
Drivers Jason Watt , Kris Nissen