Esmee Hawkey scores pole, double victory and fastest lap at Thruxton
The British racer dominated the Porsche Carrera Cup UK Pro-Am class in Thruxton, as she now moves into championship lead.
Coming from the W-Series season finale at Brands Hatch where she qualified third, Esmee Hawkey made her return in the Porsche Carrera Cup UK this weekend at Thruxton.
It was a hugely successful weekend for Esmee, as she took home class pole position, two race victories, two fastest laps and all the points available.
In a rain-affected practice session, Hawkey initially struggled to get to grip with the circuit, but then the Kent-based driver managed to find the necessary pace to gain the top of the timesheets.
"I'm really happy to see Thruxton on the calendar. It was a new track for me, I've only driven it in the Ginetta junior, but it doesn't really count as the Porsche is a totally different car, so much faster. When I came into practice on the first day I was last on the timesheets and it wasn't looking so good, but it was slippery and I was learning the track. It's amazing to go from there to get the pole, the wins and all the points." - she said after the races.
Qualifying 8th overall and on top of the Pro-Am class, Hawkey lost out to Jack McCarthy and Karl Leonard at the start of the first race of the weekend, which was defined by changing weather conditions. As the rain fell down on the British racetrack during Sunday's morning, Lewis Plato, Dan Vaughan and Tom Roche gambled to pit at the end of the formation lap, mounting wet tyres when all the field had lined up on the grid on slicks.
At the front, Harper led Gamble and Webster, but the drivers opting for wet tyres quickly made their way up the order and by lap 5, Roche brought himself up into the lead of the race, followed by Vaughan and Plato. McCarthy pitted, leaving the Pro-AM class lead to Esmee Hawkey.
The track started to dry quickly though, and the second half of the race restored the order in favor of the drivers that had chosen to stay on slicks.
On lap 10, the leaders were struggling for grip and Harper retook the Pro-class lead, followed by Webster one lap later.
Hawkey well managed her track position and took class victory from Leonard and Brabham.
The classify resulted in a front-row start for race two for Hawkey, who lined up second alongside Orton due to the grid inversion.
Esmee had a good getaway in the now dry conditions. Perez and Gamble joined the four-car fight for the lead and contact was made at Campbell corner, resulting in Gamble and Orton going off the track and damaging their cars.
It was then Josh Webster to emerge up in front, with Esmee Hawkey comfortably maintaining the class lead when Karl Leonard, chasing Esmee in the Pro-Am category, spun at Cobb corner. Brabham thus inherited the second place, with McCarthy in P3. It was then the RedLine Racing driver to launch an attack on Brabham, swapping positions.
In the Pro-class, the race was decided on lap 11, when Dan Harper finally completed a skillful move on Webster at the chicane after an exciting battled that lasted several corners.
Hawkey took home her second class victory of the weekend, as she crossed the finish line with more than 40 seconds advantage on second-placed Leonard. In the final laps, the 21-year old girl tried to attack Perez for fourth overall, but couldn't ultimately made a move stick.
"It was a tough race, I had a really good start but then I just got squeezed in the middle of two guys, I think it was Orton and Gamble, and I had a bit of a hit at my front-right which kind of unsettled the car a little bit. It was a tricky race, to manage the tyres and manage my position on track, but I got to fight with the Pros and all in all it was an amazing race weekend." - she commented.
Hawkey now moves on top of the championship standings by two points on Karl Leonard, with the series now going past its half-way point on the calendar.
After a sensational weekend at Thruxton, Esmee will now look forward to the next round in Silverstone, where Porsche Carrera Cup UK will be part of the World Endurance Championship event.
"WEC obviously is an amazing championship and I think it's going to be really exciting to be part of it, and the Silverstone circuit as well".
In Esmee's words:
"Really happy with that: I got pole in quali, two race wins and two fastest laps as well, so taking home all the points today, really happy!"
Ph credits: Porsche Carrera Cup UK