Ashley Watkinson

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Ashley Watkinson
Nationality Flag of the United Kingdom svg.png British
Born 19 January 1990
London, England
Current Team Kingfisher
Car Number 29
Former Teams CR, Pacchia, Hemogoblin, NAB-Holden, Team Phoenix, GRM, Mitie
Races 68 (56 starts)
Championships 0
Victories 3
Podiums 8
Points 104
Pole Positions 1
Fastest Laps 1
First Race 2010 F1RWRS German Grand Prix
First Victory 2010 F1RWRS Saxon Grand Prix
Last Victory 2012 F1RWRS New South Wales Grand Prix
Last Race 2015 F1RWRS Monaco Grand Prix
Best Finish 9th (2012)


Ashley Watkinson (born January 19, 1990 in England) is a British racing driver better known for winning the inaugural race of the F1RWRS, a feat he never fails to remind everyone of his doubters. He is usually referred to as the journeyman of the F1RWRS, having competed for six teams in four seasons. In 2013, he failed to win a race for the first time.

Early Career

Watkinson began his career driving in British Formula Ford. He had some success but was tabbed for a BTCC drive by BMW. He then became the youngest driver to compete in a BTCC race at the age of 17. After two years of BTCC, Watkinson was signed on to drive for CR Motorsport in the inaugural season of the F1RWRS in 2010.

F1RWRS

2010

Ashley Watkinson won the first ever race in the F1RWRS at the 2010 German Grand Prix after he pitted early for tyres and was able to make up a lot of time. The early part of 2010 saw Watkinson drive consistently and he lay in second place in the championship after four rounds of the championship. Unfortunately, Watkinson did not finish higher than eighth for the remainder of the year and he eventually finished the season in ninth. However, he comprehensively beat his teammate and he cemented his place as a top-rate driver.

2011

Ashley made his first team change after 2010 when he ditched CR in favor of Pacchia for the 2011 F1RWRS season. The move came as a surprise to many and doomed CR to mediocrity. Watkinson began to gain a reputation as a prima-donna during his time at Pacchia as he often berated the team and the car during his tenure there. The most notable of these occurred during the 2011 Saxon Grand Prix when Watkinson accused Pacchia of only bringing enough tyres for team boss Luca Pacchiarini. Watkinson did not accomplish much at Pacchia; his only points score came at the 2011 Belgian Grand Prix. Despite this, he still turned in some spectacular qualifying runs as he took a surprising pole at the 2011 English Grand Prix which also turned out to be his last race for the team.

Ashley decided to ditch Pacchia after the English GP and he signed on to Hemogoblin Autowerks for the rest of the season. Watkinson was forced to enter pre-qualifying for the next few races as he did not score enough points at Pacchia to be exempted. He did not pre-qualify for three successive races before he finally broke through after the qualifying rules were revamped at the 2011 Australian Grand Prix. Watkinson was very vocal in his criticism of the pre-qualifying rules and was one of the reasons that the rule was changed. His lobbying paid off, however, as he took the victory after a major pileup in the first lap of the race. Watkinson continued and beat Thomas De Bock in a straight fight for the victory. The win was Ashley's highlight of the season as he would only take one more points finish that year.

2012

Watkinson remained at Hemogoblin for the 2012 F1RWRS season. He did not score any points until the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix where he took a podium finish. Unfortunately, Watkinson was left without a drive after the 2012 British Grand Prix when T. Hemo Goblin decided to retire and close his team. Watkinson did not miss a race that season, however, as he was drafted in to replace the suspended Rhys Davies at NAB-Holden Racing Team. Watkinson picked up a podium at the 2012 Kent Grand Prix despite the fact that he had never driven the car before. He then drove for his third team of the season, Phoenix McAllister's Team Phoenix squad (then known as Super Aguri Footwork Team Phoenix Honda), for two races.

Holden was impressed at Watkinson's performance at the Kent Grand Prix and he was placed in the car as a replacement for Frank Zimmer who was let go from the team that he founded. Watkinson performed admirably, taking his third win at the 2012 New South Wales Grand Prix. He and Rhys Davies led Holden to fourth place in the Constructors' Championship that year and equaled his best championship finish with ninth place. He also supported Holden in the Nissan espionage case of 2012.

2013

Ashley Watkinson remained at Holden for the 2013 F1RWRS season. Watkinson had a multitude of inconsistent showings, crashing out several times en route to nine DNFs for the year. However, Watkinson managed to take three podiums but was kept out of the top step of the podium for the first time. He was also drove for the Holden "B"-team, Garry Rogers Motorsport for one race as HRT was trying to maximize money from pay driver John Zimmer. All in all, it was a mixed year for Watkinson who finished tenth in the Drivers' Championship. Watkinson was also considerably less vocal in the press during this time. John Zimmer retired for good after 2013 and Watkinson was guaranteed a drive at HRT for the 2014 F1RWRS season, again alongside Rhys Davies.

2014

Watkinson looked forward to the 2014 season as he again partnered Rhys Davies at Holden F1RWRS Racing Team. However, Watkinson performed poorly and caused several enormous accidents through the first seven races. A frustrated Mark Skaife decided to fire Watkinson and put in Dean O'Lauchlan to create an Australian super-team at HRT.

During the course of the year, F1RWRS newcomers Mitie Aviation began to speak to Ashley about a possible drive for 2015. Although nothing was heard from either party at the beginning, discussions rapidly arose after the Macau GP, with Ashley signing a deal to race from 2015 onwards. But Mr.Alexander wanted Ashley to adapt to the team immediately, and so Matthias Valsattis has been controversially dropped for the final two races so Ashley can get up to speed.

Complete F1RWRS Results

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 DC Pts
2010 CR Motorsport GER
1
LUX
5
SAX
10
CHN
6
TAS
10
BHR
10
BEL
13
GBR
8
AUS
12
9th 27
2011 Pacchia BAV
14
GER
18
SAX
18
LUX
Ret
BEL
5
GBR
DNPQ
ENG
9
KEN
DNPQ
16th 22
Hemogoblin Autowerks NED
DNPQ
TAS
DNPQ
AUS
1
NSW
11
SUR
Ret
CHN
DNPQ
USA
8
2012 Hemogoblin Autowerks BAV
Ret
SAX
DNPQ
GER
DNPQ
LUX
Ret
BEL
3
NED
10
GBR
DNPQ
9th 36
NAB-Holden Racing Team KEN
3
SUR
7
NSW
1
AUS
Ret
CHN
7
USA
11
500
16
Super Aguri Footwork Team Phoenix Honda ENG
8
TAS
15
2013 Holden F1RWRS Racing Team TAS
Ret
AUS
Ret
MEX
Ret
USA
3
MON
2
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
NED
2
BEL
Ret
POR
7
MAC
Ret
CHN
6
JPN
15
BRA
Ret
10th 17
Garry Rogers Motorsport MED
9
2014 Holden F1RWRS Racing Team TAS
5
AUS
Ret
BRA
Ret
MEX
Ret
USA
Ret
MON
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR GER BEL ITA MED NED MAC 23rd 2
Mitie Aviation Racing CHN
DNPQ
JPN
DNPQ