Ross hoping for calmer Watters in 2020 season

Ross Watters
Ross Watters

Levenmouth’s Racewall star Ross Watters has already started making preparations for the new season.

Watters is a mainstay at the Kingdom track and certainly enjoyed a memorable campaign last year.

By his own admission he “struggled” at the start of the season before moving up the points order ahead of the World Championships in August and then ending the year well.

With action set to resume again shortly, Watters wants to hit the ground running.

He said: “I have already begun stripping my car for the new season.

“The main one is the change of wheels and tyres.

“I have all the bits ready for rebarring the car and hope to have it ready for practice before the season starts.

“I am also making adjustments to the car so that I can race it on shale.

“I got the car for the start of last season; it is a GRP car and has an Audi A4 body shell.”

Watters is hoping to enjoy a less traumatic start to the season this time around having to make some changes on short notice ahead of the past term.

“Changes had to be made to the car even before we started to race with the late rule changes meaning we had to change the ride height,” said Watters.

“It was ready for the practice sessions at the Racewall and had a lot of initial problems.

“When we built up the car I fitted disc brakes to the rear of the car and I struggled quite a bit.

“I persevered with the car but couldn’t make adjustments so had to change back to drums and shoes. What a difference it made to the car. The braking maybe wasn’t quite as good and instead of stopping square it threw the tail out slightly.”

The sport is a labour of love for the local driver.

He works on his car locally and is keen to involve his family in his success.

“I stay in Kennoway but I keep my car at my dad’s place in Methil,” he said.

“I usually go there at night after work to pick up my son Jaxson and then spend a couple of hours in the garage before we head home.”

Watters is hoping for a better start to the season than he did last year, admitting that early results didn’t go as he’d have likes.

Gearbox troubled plagued him while his car suffered breaks to a bellhousing and a tail shaft.

With repair work carried out, Watters kick started his season at the European Championships in May.

He had the second fastest practice lap but couldn’t make his mark at the meeting.

But the signs were there that things were started to turn in his favour.

The Skegness weekend saw Watters start to hit the front again and the car was feeling good ahead of the August World Championships.

“The car was flying and I started to move up the points order although a bit behind the leaders although the gap was closing,” added the local racer.

“I won the final just before the worlds so I was looking forward to it.

“The World Championship was at the Racewall and the grid is determined by championship races, track points and a few other races.

“It is hard for the Scottish drivers to get to the front of the grid unless they can travel.

“We were brought onto the track through a tunnel with smoke belching out and it was good to be able to do the parade lap with Jaxson.

“The atmosphere was something you need to experience – it’s hard to put into words.

“I started the race from 16th on the grid and made steady progress.

“The rain helped and I was able to run the car on a high line where the grip was.

“There was a stoppage towards the end of the race but I had six back markers between me and the leading duo.

“By the time I got ahead of them the leaders were well clear. I was delighted to finish third.”

Next came a trip to Hednesford for the ORCi Championship where Watters qualified third for the main race but ended up in the wall on the first bend.

Due to his position in the points he was offered a place in the National Series but declined.

“I had raced in the inaugural National Series but there is only one race in Scotland and the rest is down in England,” he explained.

“All the races take place from September to November so there is a lot of travelling involved.

“Skegness is around seven hours away and that is the nearest and then there is Taunton, Ipswich, King’s Lynn and Mildenhall – too much travelling for me in a short space of time.”

By the time that the Superbowl weekend came around Watters was feeling confident.

He won his heat on Saturday night but in the Superbowl and had managed to get into second place only to find trouble at one of the bends and that was that.

“I got the car repaired for the Sunday’s meeting,” said Watters.

“Ian was ahead of me in the points but I finished in fourth place in the Gordon Barclay memorial final and then won the heat and that was the points title sewn up.

“It was my first in the saloons although I had won a few in the minis.”

Watters’ time on the track have been helped greatly by those who lend their support and he is keen to register his thanks.

He added: “I get help working on the car from my dad, uncle Bobby, Jaxson and Kevin Bowie although more mechanics turn up at the track to help.”

Watters also thanked his sponsors for all their help across the season.