Having been at the wheel of the Team GB entry in both China and Malaysia, Danny Watts has confirmed that he will miss the latest round of the A1GP season in New Zealand later this month.
Watts, who scored a double podium on his debut in the new Powered by Ferrari car in China before a tough weekend at Sepang, has elected to stay at home with his partner – former BTCC racer Fiona Leggate – due to give birth to their first child in the coming weeks.
As yet, there has been no word on who will replace Watts for the weekend, but current reserve driver James Winslow and former racers Oliver Jarvis and Robbie Kerr are expected to be in the mix for an event in which Watts believes the British team will be strong.
“There are high expectations from the team after finishing third [in the standings] for the past few years so we have to live up to that,” he told Crash.net
. “It will be hard but we want to win and want to win races, and there is no better time to do that than at Taupo. I won't be there though as my girlfriend is having a baby and I want to be there for the birth. Hopefully we will get a chance later on [to win].”
Team GBR was one of the outfits forced to miss the opening round of the year due to delays with the build schedule of the new car and Watts admitted it had left the team on the back-foot.
"We're sort of playing catch-up all the time," he said. "The car was still in bits when we turned up in China so the mechanics had two sleepless nights working to get the car out.
"A lot of the parts came very late. We never tested the car so it was a case of jumping in at the deep end and we had to get a set-up quickly and learn the circuit. It was very bumpy and that made it hard to get the set-up. The strategy from qualifying to the races was also difficult in terms of getting the set-up right because they are so different, but we hit the nail on the head.
"To come out of the weekend with two podiums was mega and we got some points on the board. It was all credit to the team for building the car from scratch and to get from that point to the podium was a great weekend."