Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Cassey Watson



Cassey, with the MX-5

Despite her tender years, Cassey is a "veteran" of the junior racing scene, having scored podium positions in all major championships. After several years of karting, she first raced cars in 2006, focusing mainly on the Citroen Saxo-based Saxmax to begin with. She finished sixth overall. Later, she took part in the T-Cars Autumn Trophy and was fifth, after two podium finishes.

Her introduction to Ginetta Juniors came in the form of two guest spots in races, one at the Junior Racing Festival, where she broke the record for the greatest number of races in one day: two races each in Ginetta Junior, Saxmax and T-Cars. She also scored podium finishes in all categories.

In 2007 she did part-seasons in Saxmax and Ginettas, achieving one top-three finish in the Ginetta out of five races. She was eighth in Saxmax and 17th in the Ginetta Junior Championship.

She concentrated on Ginettas in 2008. Her season consisted of twelve rounds of the junior championship. She would have completed the season, but her impending 17th birthday disqualified her from junior competition most of the way through. Her best finish was fourth, at Cadwell Park, and she only finished out of the top ten once. This was an eleventh place at Thruxton towards the end of the season. Cassey was 15th overall when she had to quit the championship on her 17th birthday.

Tockwith Motorsport, who had been running her in Ginetta Junior, kept her on as a driver for two rounds of the senior club Ginetta series. Her results were unspectacular, but it was her first senior experience.

2009 was Cassey's first full year of senior competition. She struggled somewhat for funding, like many around her, but managed three runs in a Mazda MX-5 in the Max5 championship, and two rounds of Britcar. One of the Max5 races, at Thruxton, gave her a third place. In Britcar, she drove a Lunar Racing-prepared MG ZS180. She finished on the podium for her class both times. For her first race, at Castle Combe, she was partnered by Alan Bonner. Despite a spin before the start of the race proper, they finished second in class and 17th overall. Her second race was the Britcar 500, a six-hour enduro, at Silverstone. Her team-mates - Rob Headley, Pete Fairburn and Paul Mclean - only appeared two days before the race, the car had to have a new gearbox, and Cassey narrowly avoided missing her evening qualifying session due to a brake fluid leak. During the race itself, power steering, weather and tyre choice problems, as well as low fuel, affected the team's competitiveness, but they made it to the end, 32nd overall and third in class.

Cassey remained with the Lunar team in 2010, competing in the Zing Trofeo Abarth one-make series. Her car was a Fiat 500 Abarth. She was seventh overall, with a best finish of second, against a strong field which included former BTCC drivers. Her second place was achieved at Snetterton, and she had her best meeting there, scoring a fourth place in the first race. Apart from two DNFs at Brands Hatch and Silverstone, she was never out of the top ten.

The Abarth series was cancelled abruptly in 2011, leaving Cassey without a drive. Lunar Racing put together a VW Golf for her to use in the VW Racing Cup, but it was only ready in time for the last few rounds. Despite no testing time, she managed to score a few points, after a very shaky start during her first meeting, due to a faulty gear linkage.

She does not appear to have raced in 2012, although she remained involved in motorsport in a management role at Lunar Racing. After 2012, she seems to have left the world of motorsport entirely.

She did make a comeback in 2014, contesting the Hyundai Coupe Cup at the Track Attack Race Club meeting. She won one race.

(Image from www.thegrid.co.uk)

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