NI duo Charlie Eastwood and Andrew Watson secure factory Aston Martin deal

Charlie Eastwood on the Spa six-hour endurance race
Eastwood, right, won the Porsche Carrera Cup GB championship in 2017 and has been selected as a Porsche Junior driver in only his second year of endurance racing

Northern Ireland duo Charlie Eastwood and Andrew Watson have been confirmed as Aston Martin Junior Drivers.

Belfast's Eastwood currently races an Aston Martin with TF Sport in the World Enurance Championship and the Blancpain GT Series

Watson, who was previously in McLaren's academy, joins Eastwood as the only other factory Junior Driver for 2019.

The pair will become a reserve for the Factory Professionals and also assist development and testing of new cars.

Also, they will mentor drivers the re-launched Academy on top of racing duties.

"I'm delighted to sign this contract with Aston Martin Racing," said Eastwood, who is only in his second year of endurance racing, "I'm still relatively new to the discipline and the results and pace have been good. I've proven my consistency over stints at a very high level.

"Joining Aston Martin is a real privilege and I will continue to work hard and develop my role in terms of test and development, but also in data analysis and mentoring of the Academy drivers."

Andrew Watson
Watson joins fellow Northern Irishman Eastwood as the only two factory-backed Junior Drivers in Aston Martin's ranks

Donaghmore driver Watson had a breakthrough year in 2018 as he picked up his first overall podium in the Blancpain GT Series and took class pole at the Spa 24 Hours.

"To sign with Aston Martin Racing as an AMR Junior is a hugely proud moment for me and a massive step in my career," said the 24-year-old, who will announce his 2019 plans next week.

"They have huge ambitions, much the same as myself as a young driver, and I'm massively excited by what lies ahead and am looking forward to building a strong relationship with AMR into the future."

"To be chosen as one of only two AMR Juniors is an honour and to be able to assist the Academy Drivers is special and

"I'm really delighted to be flying the flag for Aston Martin Racing and the opportunity to help the team with the car development is extremely unique and one I'm really excited for."

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