Danny Watts is a British professional racing driver.

Career

He was born in Aylesbury, and started racing in 1993, when he began karting. After five seasons of karting, he stepped up to single seater racing in 1998 in the UK Formula First championship, in which he dominated with 12 wins. He also competed in the Formula Palmer Audi Winter Series, in preparation for running the main Formula Palmer Audi championship the following year.

2000 saw a step up to the British Formula Renault Championship, when he was teammate to Kimi Räikkönen. In his third year of Formula Renault, he won the championship with 6 wins.

Watts ascended another tier in 2003, stepping up to the British Formula 3 Championship, with HiTech Racing. He took his first win in the series the same year in the second race at Castle Combe, having crashed out of the lead in race one. In 2004 he became the first driver for eleven years to win a round of the British Formula 3 Championship whilst not driving a car from the Dallara company.

2005 saw a mixed year for Watts. Unable to remain in Formula Three, he contested a handful of races in various disciplines. The same occurred in 2006, though he did make a brief return to F3 for the penultimate race of the season, at Thruxton, for champions Räikkönen Robertson Racing (co-owned by former British FRenault teammate, and now F1 star Kimi Räikkönen). In that race, Watts led the field and dominated proceedings with a convincing win.

In 2006 he raced in the Porsche Carrera Cup for the Redline Racing team. Initially he shared this drive with Richard Westbrook, only contesting races which clash with Westbrook's Porsche Carrera Cup racing, but after a run of 8 successive victories in the races he started, Richard conceded the drive full-time.

For 2007 Watts drove for Team LNT in the Le Mans Series in a Panoz Esperante GT-LM. He was also invited to join A1 Team Great Britain for the 4th season of the 2007/8 season held in Shanghai, China and took part in the rookie sessions.

In 2008 he signed to the SAS Lechner Racing team with teammate Damien Faulkner for the F1-supporting Porsche Supercup series.

A1 Team Great Britain announced that Watts would race for A1 Team Great Britain in Chengdu; he came 3rd in both the sprint and feature race.

For 2009 he raced for Strakka Racing in the Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans driving a Ginetta-Zytek GZ09S. In the opening round of the Le Mans Series at Barcelona he claimed overall pole on the teams LMP1 debut.

In 2010 he retained his seat for Strakka Racing in the Le Mans Series however the team moved down to the LMP2 category now using a HPD ARX-01c. The car took the class victory at Le Mans finishing 5th overall.

The 2011 Le Mans season was good for Watts, once again being the strongest link in the team constantly qualifying the Strakka car high up the LMP2 field.

In 2012 Strakka retained Watts, who went on to put in a hero's drive at the World Endurance Championship round at Silverstone England, by doing a double stint of three-and-a-half hours to finish within 0.6 secs of 4th place.

Personal life

After retiring, he came out publicly in 2017 as gay.[1][2] He was previously married to Fiona Leggate with whom he had one son.[3]

Helmet

Watts' helmet colour is in honour of Oxford United Football Club, whom he supports.

Racing record

Career summary

Season Series Team Races Wins Poles F.Laps Podiums Points Position
1998 Formula First Great Britain Mark Burdett Motorsport ? 12 12 ? ? ? 1st
Formula Palmer Audi Winter Series ? 4 0 ? ? 3 80 3rd
1999 Formula Palmer Audi ? 14 0 0 1 0 42 22nd
2000 Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup Manor Motorsport ? 0 0 0 1 20 16th
Formula Renault 2.0 UK 11 1 1 0 3 153 10th
2001 Formula Renault 2.0 UK Manor Motorsport 13 2 0 1 4 253 3rd
2002 Formula Renault 2.0 UK Fortec Motorsport 13 6 4 5 11 333 1st
Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC
Macau Asian Formula 2000 Challenge EYHOB Motorsport 1 1 0 0 1 0 1st
Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain Porsche Cars Great Britain 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC
2003 British Formula Three Championship Hitech Grand Prix 22 1 3 2 5 125 5th
Masters of Formula 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 23rd
Macau Grand Prix 1 0 0 0 0 0 10th
Korea Super Prix Alan Docking Racing 1 0 0 0 0 0 9th
2004 British Formula Three Championship Promatecme 21 1 1 0 4 139 6th
Masters of Formula 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 10th
Formula 3 European Cup 1 0 0 0 0 0 5th
Japanese Formula 3 Championship M-TEC 3 0 0 0 0 12 15th
Walter Hayes Trophy ? 1 0 0 0 0 0 2nd
2005 British Formula Three Championship Alan Docking Racing 2 0 0 0 1 23 13th
Formula 3 Euro Series HBR Motorsport 2 0 0 0 0 0 NC
Macau Grand Prix Team Midland Euroseries 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC
Formula Renault 3.5 Series EuroInternational 2 0 0 0 0 0 NC
2006 British Formula Three Championship Räikkönen Robertson Racing 1 1 1 0 1 0 NC
Porsche Supercup IRWIN Redline Racing 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC
Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain 16 10 6 6 11 250 3rd
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Gates GR Asia 1 1 1 1 1 0 NC
British GT Championship ? ? ? ? ? ? 15 7th
2007 Le Mans Series - LMGT2 Team LNT 4 0 0 0 0 5 19th
24 Hours of Le Mans - LMGT2 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC
American Le Mans Series - LMP2 Zytek Motorsports 1 0 0 0 1 19 16th
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia ? 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC
2008 Porsche Supercup SAS Lechner Racing 12 0 0 0 1 90 9th
American Le Mans Series Team LNT 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC
Aston Martin Asia Cup Noble Group/GR Asia 2 0 0 1 1 0 NC
Macau GT Cup Grand Prix Team Road & Track 1 0 0 0 1 0 2nd
2008-09 A1 Grand Prix A1 Team Great Britain 6 0 1 0 2 28 10th
2009 Le Mans Series Strakka Racing 5 0 1 0 0 4 16th
24 Hours of Le Mans 1 0 0 0 0 0 14th
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia SC Global Racing 1 0 0 0 1 0 NC
Macau GT Cup Grand Prix Team Road & Track 1 0 0 0 1 0 3rd
2010 Le Mans Series - LMP2 Strakka Racing 5 3 5 5 3 69 2nd
24 Hours of Le Mans - LMP2 1 1 1 1 1 0 1st
Macau GT Cup Grand Prix United Autosports 1 0 0 0 1 0 3rd
2011 Le Mans Series - LMP2 Strakka Racing 5 0 2 0 2 43 3rd
Intercontinental Le Mans Cup - LMP2 1 0 1 0 1 0 NC
24 Hours of Le Mans - LMP2 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC
Macau GT Cup Grand Prix United Autosports 1 0 0 0 1 0 3rd
2012 FIA World Endurance Championship Strakka Racing 8 0 0 0 1 64 7th
24 Hours of Le Mans 1 0 0 0 0 0 8th
Macau GT Cup Grand Prix United Autosports 1 0 0 0 1 0 3rd
2013 FIA World Endurance Championship Strakka Racing 3 0 0 0 0 22 15th
24 Hours of Le Mans 1 0 0 0 0 0 6th
Macau GT Cup Grand Prix United Autosports 1 0 0 0 1 0 2nd
FIA GT Series Trackspeed 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC
2014 Macau GT Cup Grand Prix United Autosports 1 0 0 0 0 0 19th
GT Asia Series 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC
2015 FIA World Endurance Championship - LMP2 Strakka Racing 8 0 0 0 1 63 8th
24 Hours of Le Mans 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC
2016 FIA World Endurance Championship - LMP2 Strakka Racing 3 0 0 0 0 34 15th
24 Hours of Le Mans 1 0 0 0 0 0 4th

Complete Porsche Supercup results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position – 2 points awarded 2008 onwards in all races) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 DC Points
2006 IRWIN Redline Racing BHR ITA GER ESP MON GBR
22
USA USA FRA GER HUN ITA NC‡ 0‡
2008 SAS Lechner Racing BHR
6
BHR
7
ESP
6
TUR
7
MON
19
FRA
5
GBR
2
GER
27
HUN
4
ESP
21†
BEL
26†
ITA
10
9th 91

† – Did not finish the race, but was classified as he completed over 90% of the race distance. ‡ – Guest driver – Not eligible for points.

24 Hours of Le Mans results

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2007 United Kingdom Team LNT United Kingdom Tom Kimber-Smith
United States Tom Milner, Jr.
Panoz Esperante GT-LM GT2 60 DNF DNF
2009 United Kingdom Strakka Racing United Kingdom Nick Leventis
United Kingdom Peter Hardman
Ginetta-Zytek GZ09S LMP1 325 21st 14th
2010 United Kingdom Strakka Racing United Kingdom Jonny Kane
United Kingdom Nick Leventis
HPD ARX-01C LMP2 367 5th 1st
2011 United Kingdom Strakka Racing United Kingdom Jonny Kane
United Kingdom Nick Leventis
HPD ARX-01d LMP2 144 DNF DNF
2012 United Kingdom Strakka Racing United Kingdom Jonny Kane
United Kingdom Nick Leventis
HPD ARX-03a LMP1 303 30th 8th
2013 United Kingdom Strakka Racing United Kingdom Jonny Kane
United Kingdom Nick Leventis
HPD ARX-03c LMP1 332 6th 6th
2015 United Kingdom Strakka Racing United Kingdom Jonny Kane
United Kingdom Nick Leventis
Strakka Dome S103-Nissan LMP2 264 DNF DNF
2016 United Kingdom Strakka Racing United Kingdom Jonny Kane
United Kingdom Nick Leventis
Gibson 015S-Nissan LMP2 351 8th 4th

Complete A1 Grand Prix results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 DC Points
2008–09 Great Britain NED
SPR
NED
FEA
CHN
SPR

3
CHN
FEA

3
MYS
SPR

Ret
MYS
FEA

16
NZL
SPR
NZL
FEA
RSA
SPR

Ret
RSA
FEA

7
POR
SPR
POR
FEA
GBR
SPR
GBR
FEA
10th 28

Complete FIA World Endurance Championship results

Year Entrant Class Car Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Rank Points
2012 Strakka Racing LMP1 HPD ARX-03a Honda LM-V8 3.4 L V8 SEB
8
SPA
6
LMS
22
SIL
5
SÃO
5
BHR
3
FUJ
6
SHA
6
7th 64
2013 Strakka Racing LMP1 HPD ARX-03c Honda LM-V8 3.4 L V8 SIL
Ret
SPA
7
LMS
6
SÃO COA FUJ SHA BHR 15th 22
2015 Strakka Racing LMP2 Strakka Dome S103 Nissan VK45DE 4.5 L V8 SIL
3
SPA
5
LMS
Ret
NÜR
7
COA
7
FUJ
6
SHA
6
BHR
5
8th 63

References

  1. ^ Watts, Daniel (20 February 2017). "I'm A Race Car Driver And I'm Coming Out To Help Change The Sport". HuffPost. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  2. ^ Lewis Corner (20 February 2017). "Pro racing driver Danny Watts publicly comes out as gay". Gay Times. Archived from the original on 21 February 2017.
  3. ^ Igual, Roberto (20 February 2017). "Danny Watts, British racing driver comes out as gay". MambaOnline - Gay South Africa online. Retrieved 23 September 2021.

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by British Formula Renault
UK series champion

2002
Succeeded by
Awards
Preceded by Autosport
British Club Driver of the Year

2002
Succeeded by