Esmee Hawkey has to settle for 4th in Silverstone
An unfortunate DNF on Saturday drops Esmee Hawkey to second place in the Porsche CC UK standings, but the Brit is still very much in the title hunt with two rounds left.
Coming from the last triumphal race weekend at Thruxton, Esmee Hawkey ended an unfortunate Porsche Carrera Cup UK round at Silverstone with a DNF in race 1 and despite a good fourth place in race 2, she dropped to second position in the Pro-Am champioship standings.
Porsche Carrera Cup UK raced this past weekend on the glorious Northamptonshire circuit in support of the 4 Hours of Silverstone, the inaugural race of the World Endurance Champioship 2019-2020 season.
After a very good qualifying session, Esmee Hawkey started race 1 from the top spot of the grid in the Pro-Am class, P7 overall.
"Really happy with that. Yesterday in practice I was P5 overall while today I'm P7." - she said after the quali session. "I'm a bit disappointed that I dropped down a couple of places but now I'm on Pro-Am pole again and it's really good. Looking forward to the race, I hope to make up some positions."
"It's a circuit that I've not been to before in a Cup car, so coming here I didn't know what to expect, like Thruxton, but apparently I like those kind of circuits: I did pole in qualifying and hopefully we can do the same as in Thruxton and win."
Race 1 started under a few drops of rain when the 19 Porsche cars took the grid on slick tyres, causing a chaotic first lap. Starting from the first row, Dan Harper and Josh Webster had a great start and moved away from the rest of the group in the initial stages.
In the first sector the IN2 racing driver Peter Kyle-Henney suffered a spin, just as Tom Roche: both were forced to rejoin the race from the back of the field.
Misfortune hit even the Pro-Am champioship leader, when further ahead in the first lap, her GT Marques car found the gravel trap at Copse, forcing Esmee to end race 1 with an unfortunate DNF.
On lap 6, Sam Brabham took the lead of the Pro-Am class on Hawkey's championship rival Karl Leonard, with Rookie Jack McCarthy still in the battle for the top positions.
The fight for class podium continued until the last stages of the race, when McCarthy put Leonard under pressure: however, the Pro category driver Roche joined the action for ninth overall position, with Pro-Am Vallunga driver Adam Hatfield taking the opportinity to get closer to the Rookie class rival.
Roche passed McCarthy on lap 17, but the Redline Racing driver was able to end the race on the Pro-Am class podium, behind Karl Leonard and winner Sam Brabham.
Harper held his record of winning every weekends' opening races and brought home his seventh seasonal victory.
Race 2 took place on Sunday morning in dry and sunny conditions.
The Amigos Redline Racing driver George Gamble started the second race from the pole position, but was immediately overtaken by Lewis Plato, with the 18 year-old Dan Harper following in third place.
In the Pro-Am category, Leonard led Jack McCarthy and Sam Brabham until lap 3, when the Team Parker Racing driver spun, enabling McCarthy to take the class leadership, followed by Sam Brabham and class championship leader Esmee Hawkey. Few laps later, Leonard came into the pits and he rejoined the race at the back of the pack.
On lap 8 Lewis Plato made contact at Village with the young Dan Harper, relegating him to the tenth place.
Another incident saw Fergurson hitting Kirby during an attempted overtaking maneuvre: Fergurson will then be involved in another contact, this time with Peter Kyle-Henney, and his race ended as a result of the incident. After the race, Fergurson received a three place grid penalty for next round and lost three champioship points for his part in the incident.
Esmee Hawkey finished the race in fourth place, after been passed by Adam Hatfield for the last category podium spot.
Jack McCarty won Sunday's Pro-Am race, with Sam Brabham a close second and Adam Hatfield third.
Josh Webster clinched the overall victory, while George Gamble and Dan Vaughan completed the podium.
In Esmee's words:
"After being quick in FP1 & FP2 and securing pole in class, the races did not go to plan. With a DNF in race 1 and a surprising lack of pace in race 2 we dropped to 2nd in the championship hunt. All to play for now!"
Ph credits: Porsche Carrera Cup UK