Gary Watkins
Author

Gary Watkins

London, UK

Gary Watkins has, for reasons best known to himself, devoted all his working life to covering sportscar racing. This season is his 32nd as a motorsport journalist, during which time he has reported on major long-distance events on four continents and approaching 75 24-hour races. He reckons a degree in political philosophy makes him well qualified for covering the sometimes Machiavellian world of international sportscars.

Gary, who also writes for Autoweek, Motor Sport, Autocourse, RACER and others, lives in Surbiton but spends more time on the road than at home for most of the year.

Latest articles by Gary Watkins

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Porsche wants GTE car to race on beyond 2022

Porsche is targeting a future for the GTE division in the FIA World Endurance Championship beyond the current two-year commitment to the class by the series organisers. 

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

Electric GT Championship plans revealed ahead of 2023 launch

A new FIA Electric GT Championship promoted by Eurosport will kick off in 2023 using the rules unveiled by the governing body last month.

Porsche, Penske unite to run new LMDh prototype in WEC, IMSA
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Porsche, Penske unite to run new LMDh prototype in WEC, IMSA

Penske will mastermind Porsche's factory return to top-line sportscar racing with a new LMDh prototype in both the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023.

Alpine wants WEC BoP changes to ease fuel mileage concerns

Alpine is demanding changes to the Hypercar Balance of Performance after losing a shot at victory in Saturday's FIA World Endurance Championship opener at Spa on fuel mileage.

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory.

Estre: Porsche Spa WEC triumph was "extremely stressful"

Porsche driver Kevin Estre has described his World Endurance Championship class victory together with Neel Jani at Spa on Saturday as "extremely stressful" despite their domination in GTE Pro.

Toyota explains Kobayashi's race-deciding Spa off

Toyota has revealed that a braking problem cost reigning champions Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez near-certain victory in Saturday's FIA World Endurance Championship opener at Spa.

Toyota: Hypercars won't always outpace LMP2s in race trim

The advantage the Hypercars enjoyed over LMP2s in qualifying for the Spa FIA World Endurance Championship opener does not mean they will always be faster on race pace, according to Toyota.

Le Mans 24h date won't change again, even without fans

The Le Mans 24 Hours will go ahead on its new date at the end of August even if it is run behind closed doors for a second year in succession.

WEC won't slow down LMP2 cars if further tweaks needed

The FIA World Endurance Championship will increase the pace of cars in the new Hypercar category rather than slowing the LMP2s if it needs to adjust the balance between the classes.

Jani "starting my career again" with WEC GTE switch

Le Mans 24 Hours winner Neel Jani feels like he is "starting my career again" as he begins his maiden GT campaign in the World Endurance Championship with Porsche.

Spa WEC: United Autosports LMP2 fastest in first practice

Filipe Albuquerque and the United Autosports LMP2 squad again outpaced the cars in the new Hypercar class in first free practice for this weekend's FIA World Endurance Championship opener at Spa.

Toyota "surprised" by WEC call to leave LMP2 speed unchanged

Toyota has admitted surprise at the decision not to slow the LMP2 prototypes for this weekend's Spa FIA World Endurance Championship opener after they outpaced the Hypercars in pre-event testing.

Corvette star Gavin to retire from racing after Spa WEC
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Corvette star Gavin to retire from racing after Spa WEC

Five-time Le Mans 24 Hours class winner Oliver Gavin will retire from the cockpit after this weekend's opening round of the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship season at Spa. 

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era Prime

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

A slim field of three cars will be entered in the Hypercar class for the first round of the World Endurance Championship's post-LMP1 age. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism with the new wave of manufacturer entries and competing class philosophies just around the corner

Further LMP2 pace reduction ruled out ahead of Spa

Technical changes to slow the LMP2 cars for this weekend's Spa FIA World Endurance Championship season opener have been ruled out by the series' rule makers. 

Bill Whittington obituary: 1979 Le Mans 24 Hours winner dies aged 71

Bill Whittington, who has died aged 71 in a plane crash, won the Le Mans 24 Hours and made five Indianapolis 500 starts during a racing career overshadowed by controversy.

Toyota wants LMP2s slowed further after Prologue test Prologue
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Toyota wants LMP2s slowed further after Prologue test

Toyota has called for the LMP2 cars to be slowed after its new Le Mans Hypercar was outpaced during the FIA World Endurance Championship's official Prologue pre-season test at Spa. 

WEC Prologue: Buemi puts Toyota on top in final session Prologue
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WEC Prologue: Buemi puts Toyota on top in final session

Toyota moved ahead of the best of the LMP2 runners in the final session of the official pre-season test at Spa ahead of Saturday's FIA World Endurance Championship opener in Belgium.

How Aston Martin scaled new heights in the Prodrive era Prime

How Aston Martin scaled new heights in the Prodrive era

The 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship kicks off at Spa this weekend, but for the first time since its 2012 inception there will be no factory-run Aston Martins in the GTE Pro class. That's especially notable because as a works entity, the Prodrive era of Aston Martin Racing that began in 2005 has been a success from the very start.

Jan Magnussen: 2021 Le Mans "last chance" to partner Kevin
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Jan Magnussen: 2021 Le Mans "last chance" to partner Kevin

Sportscar stalwart Jan Magnussen believes this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was the last chance for him to fulfil his ambition of driving with son Kevin in the French enduro.

WEC Prologue: LMP2 team United Autosports tops first day Prologue
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WEC Prologue: LMP2 team United Autosports tops first day

The United Autosports LMP2 team again topped the times with Filipe Albuquerque in the final session of the opening day of the FIA World Endurance Championship Prologue test at Spa.

Alpine LMP1 gets hefty weight increase for Spa opener

Alpine's grandfathered A480 LMP1 car will carry a weight penalty of more than 100kg in next weekend's opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Spa.

FIA reveals details of "groundbreaking" electric GT category

The FIA has revealed technical details of what it has described as a "groundbreaking" electric GT category planned for the future. 

Porsche beats Mercedes in GT World Challenge Monza opener

Porsche claimed first blood in a topsy-turvy opening round of the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup as the Dinamic Motorsport squad reprised its 2019 victory at Monza. 

Williams F1 reserve Aitken making GT switch to broaden skillset

Williams Formula 1 reserve Jack Aitken's 2021 GT World Challenge Europe campaign with the Emil Frey Lamborghini squad was motivated by a desire to broaden his skillset as a driver.

How an ingenious fix prevented Paul Newman from winning Le Mans Prime

How an ingenious fix prevented Paul Newman from winning Le Mans

It's one of the great what-if stories in Le Mans history. Paul Newman finished second in the 24 Hours in 1979, but it could easily have been a famous victory were it not for the resourcefulness of the late Manfred Kremer.

Glickenhaus to skip first round of WEC at Spa

Glickenhaus Racing will skip the opening round of the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship season at Spa in May with its new Le Mans Hypercar.

Bentley to contest Pikes Peak with extreme Continental GT3

Bentley will mount a factory assault on this year's Pikes Peak hillclimb with the most extreme version of its Continental GT3 racer ever built.

Porsche, Ferrari guarantee GTE's future through 2022

Ferrari and Porsche have committed to continue racing in the GTE Pro class of the FIA World Endurance Championship until the end of 2022, safeguarding the category's immediate future.

Farfus to contest full WEC season in Prodrive-run Aston

BMW factory driver Augusto Farfus will contest the FIA World Endurance Championship in Paul Dalla Lana's Prodrive-run GTE Am class Aston Martin.

Hawkey loses Iron Lynx seat over incorrect driver grading

Porsche Carrera Cup GB class champion Esmee Hawkey has been dropped from the Iron Lynx Ferrari team's all-female European Le Mans Series line-up over an incorrect driver grading.

Lynn joins United Autosports for Le Mans 24 Hours

Former Aston Martin factory driver Alex Lynn will team up with Paul di Resta for the rescheduled Le Mans 24 Hours in August at the United Autosports LMP2 squad.

WEC makes extra LMP2 performance cut for 2021 season

LMP2 machinery has been slowed for a second time to ensure a performance differential to the cars racing in the new Hypercar division of the FIA World Endurance Championship this season.

Glock, Wittmann headline Walkenhorst BMW GTWCE line-up

Ex-Formula 1 racer Timo Glock and DTM champions Martin Tomczyk and Marco Wittman will race for the Walkenhorst BMW squad in the 2021 GT World Challenge Europe. 

GTWCE Sprint Cup event at Brands Hatch moved to August

The Brands Hatch round of the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup has been rescheduled for August.

How Dumfries’s Lotus F1 dream turned into a nightmare

When the late Johnny Dumfries, who has died aged 62, joined Lotus for the 1986 Formula 1 season, the pressure cranked up on the rookie sharing a garage with Ayrton Senna. In the 18 August 2011 issue of the magazine, Dumfries explained to Autosport how it all came about and why a promising campaign turned into a disappointment

Manfred Kremer: Le Mans-winning mastermind engineer dies

Manfred Kremer, who has died aged 81, was the engineering mastermind of the family Porsche team run together with brother Erwin that won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1979.

Middle Eastern event to replace cancelled Suzuka 10 Hours

The Suzuka 10 Hours round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge has been cancelled for the second season in a row as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Prime

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

Corvette enters Spa, hints at increased WEC involvement

Corvette Racing has hinted at an increased involvement in the FIA World Endurance Championship after confirming its participation in the new opening round of the 2021 series at Spa in May.

Corvette joins 62-car Le Mans 24 Hours entry list

Corvette Racing's return to the Le Mans 24 Hours has been confirmed with the publication of a capacity 62-car entry for this year's rescheduled race in August.

Aitken to race in GT World Challenge Europe with Lamborghini

Williams Formula 1 reserve driver Jack Aitken will race in the GT World Challenge Europe in 2021 with Lamborghini.

Jordan 191 set to feature in new Masters F1 demos

A Jordan-Cosworth 191 is set to be among the Formula 1 cars at Donington Park next month for the first of a new series of demos from Masters Historic Racing.

Spa opens revised WEC calendar, Portimao moved to June

The 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship will kick off at Spa in May after the postponement of next month's scheduled series opener at Portimao to June.

Le Mans 24 Hours postpones 2021 edition until August

The Le Mans 24 Hours will be postponed from its usual June slot for a second year in a row owing to the global health crisis, and will now take place in August.

Glickenhaus satisfied with maiden hypercar test

The new Glickenhaus Le Mans Hypercar completed more than 100 laps on its maiden test over two days at the Vallelunga circuit in Italy this week.

WRT reveals full driver line-up for debut WEC season

Former DTM racer Ferdinand Habsburg will remain with the WRT squad for its maiden FIA World Endurance Championship campaign in 2021.

Corvette to contest WEC opener, Glickenhaus sits out

Chevrolet will contest the opening round of the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship season at the Portimao circuit in Portugal with its mid-engined Corvette C8.R.

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile Prime

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

Gordon Murray names new £3.1m T.50 track-day supercar after Niki Lauda
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Gordon Murray names new £3.1m T.50 track-day supercar after Niki Lauda

Legendary Formula 1 design legend Gordon Murray has named the new track-day version of his forthcoming T.50 supercar in honour of three-time world champion Niki Lauda.

Lotus unveils electric prototype with fighter jet-inspired aero

British sportscar maker Lotus has unveiled a design study for an electric endurance racer of the year 2030 that incorporates active aerodynamics inspired by a jet fighter.

Champion returns with Dumas to contest Pikes Peak

The Le Mans 24 Hours-winning Champion team will return to motorsport after an absence of 12 seasons at this year's Pikes Peak hillclimb with course record holder Romain Dumas.

Dumbreck steps down from Falken's Nurburgring 24h line-up

DTM race winner Peter Dumbreck is standing down from the Falken Motorsports team's Nurburgring 24 Hours line-up after 14 consecutive appearances in the German enduro.

Three teams set to run Mercedes cars in DTM

Mercedes is set to be represented by a minimum of three teams on its return to the DTM following the championship's switch to GT3 rules for the 2021 season

Peugeot WEC signing Magnussen rules out Haas substitute role

New Peugeot FIA World Endurance Championship signing Kevin Magnussen has ruled out returning to Formula 1 with Haas if asked to substitute for one of its new drivers in 2021.

Toyota now "back on track" with hypercar test plan

Toyota is "back on track" to achieve the target test mileage with its new Le Mans Hypercar ahead of the start of the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship season.

Duval has "unfinished job" with Peugeot at Le Mans

Le Mans 24 Hours winner Loic Duval says he will have "unfinished job" when he returns to the wheel of a Peugeot prototype in the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship season.

Magnussen, di Resta land 2022 Peugeot WEC drives

Ex-Formula 1 drivers Kevin Magnussen, Paul di Resta and Jean-Eric Vergne will race Peugeot's new Le Mans Hypercar in the World Endurance Championship in 2022.