Esmee Hawkey doubles with perfect Brands Hatch weekend
British lady Esmee Hawkey won both races at her Kent home track, scoring the fourth victory in four races in the 2020 Porsche Carrera Cup GB opening rounds.
After completing a perfect opening round at Donington Park, British lady Esmee Hawkey was back behind the wheel of the #3 Team Parker Porsche for her home weekend at Kent's Brands Hatch circuit, which hosted the second round of the 2020 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season.
The 2019 W-Series driver immediately kept momentum and reached the top spot in the first Friday Practice session in the Pro-Am category and, successively, she confirmed her top form by clinching a commanding pole position. With the fastest class lap time, Hawkey also conquered two points for the championship standings.
“We came in on a high from Donington and I knew it would be tough to beat that weekend, so to come away with another overall podium is brilliant." - commented Esmee.
"We finished fourth overall in FP1 so proved the previous weekend wasn’t a fluke. For FP2 we worked on race runs, finding a good set up for Sunday’s races."
“Qualifying was tough and we didn’t quite get to where we wanted on the grid. Eighth was not awful and if it was the first race of the season, we’d be over the moon with it. I was happy with it though and we knew in the race we’d pressure those in front of us."
In unusual dry and hot weather conditions for the English countryside, Esmee Hawkey had a great start to Race 1 and led the Pro-Am class giving no chances to her competitors until the Safety Car was brought out by an accident involving AM driver Lucky Khera.
On lap 9, a contact in the AM class battle between John Ferguson and Justin Armstrong put both the drivers in the gravel and triggered another Safety Car period, with the race action returning to green flag with only five minutes to the chequered flag.
In the final lap, by the battle for the third podium position between by Matthew Graham and Lorcan Hanafin was under the spotlight, with the rookie able to join the top three after a powerful move. Hanafin joined Josh Webster, second at the finish line, and Porsche Junior driver Harry King, who won his second race of the 2020 season.
Esmee Hawkey claimed a dominant Pro-Am victory and added one extra point to her tally for the fastest lap. Aron Mason was P2 in class after a strong comeback on Ryan Ratcliffe, who completed the class top-three.
“Race one was tricky, starting on the outside of the sloped grid, so I lost a place and had to slot in on the right to get a good run up to Druids. I finished seventh overall, so we made up a few places and took another Pro-Am win but knew I could do a bit more than that." - said Hawkey.
The Team Parker lady racer was also among the leading protagonist of the second race action. After a solid race start, Hawkey found herself in the middle of a battle against Hanafin, with also Mark Kimber involved. The Brookspeed Connect IT driver had the worst out of it, and was forced to end his race after making contact with the barriers.
“We had the right side of the grid for race two and got a really good start. I was running seventh, a few people slid off, and I was fighting with Ross Wylie and Mark Kimber. It was tricky because Ross was trying to pass Mark and I was trying to get past Ross too."
“Ross got past Mark but then there was a bit of contact between myself and Mark which spun him out sadly. That left me in fourth and just behind Ross, which then became another podium finish, another win in Pro-Am, and good points to take away from the weekend."
Following this 'elbows-out' duel, Esmee could in fact manage her class lead without much pressure and scored an impressive P4 overall - thus claiming the fourth class victory out of four races. Again, she added the extra point for fastest lap.
The Pro-Am podium was completed by Ratcliffe and Mason, respectively in second and third.
Harry King won the second overall classify again in Brands Hatch, with an impressive eight seconds gap to Josh Webster.
After being protagonist of a phenomenal round in her home track, the only bad news for Hawkey came when the stewards inflicted her a post-race penalty for the incident with Kimber, which will force the British lady to start the next race with a seven-position grid drop and a 3 championship points loss.
Esmee Hakwey is now leading the Pro-Am championship standings with a 15 points advantage on Ryan Ratcliffe and 19 to third-placed Aaron Mason. But the former W Series driver is also eyeing more battles beyond her category.
“I’m now looking at the overall results rather than just in Pro-Am. We came into the season having finished third in class last year, so we had unfinished business and, so far, we definitely have made progress. I think it’s important to push the Pro category and get the best results possible.”
Oulton Park will host the following Porsche Carrera Cup GB rounds on 22-23 August, as Esmee Hawkey will certainly try to repeat her 2019 race 2 victory in Cheshire.
Even if races are still being held behind closed doors, fans can race alongside Esmee throughout the season by becoming a Silver Supporter, which means their names will be displayed on the roof of her #3 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup - and it will gain a signature cap and an autographed photo. You can check out further details here.