Esmee Hawkey unstoppable at Silvestone
With a double victory in Silverstone, Esmee Hawkey extended her leadership in an outstanding Porsche Carrera Cup GB 2020 season for the British lady.
Last weekend the Silverstone circuit played host to the 11th and 12th round of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB - the one-make fastest series in the UK supporting the popular British Touring Car Championship. The 2020 season has so far seen two major protagonists so far: Harry King and Esmee Hawkey, who are both dominating the respective classes.
At the iconic home of the British GP, the story of the season kept repeating, as the two drivers again completed impressive weekends.
It was a very close dry qualifying session, with the first 16 cars all bunched up within a gap of one second. Hawkey secured her sixth pole position in a row in the Pro-Am class with a 0.032 margin over Ryan Ratcliffe despite a problem in her Team Parker Racing Porsche, while it was Harry King to take the top spot overall.
"Unfortunately, we had some issues, so I had to come in without setting a time on my first set of tyres." - explained Esmee. "We tried something to see if it cleared it but I decided I needed to do a lap so I got on with it and while it wasn’t the best session I managed to pip my rival Ryan by a few hundredths which meant I took home two points for pole out of a bad situation and knew I had a good car for the race."- she added after the qualifying session.
The British lady maintained Pro-Am leadership at the start of a dry Race 1, before a contact in the second lap between Ferguson and Armstrong brought out the Safety Car which led the field before the action could resume on lap 8.
Hawkey was never troubled at the top of the Pro-Am classify throughout the rest of the race and managed to extend her comfortable gap to Ryan Ratcliffe, finishing tenth overall after a winning battle against Pro driver Dorian Marsilla.
Harry King won an absolutely commading Race 1 with a seven-second gap to Will Martin and Sam MacLeod while, with a 12th place finish, Hawkey's championship rival Ratcliffe was second in the Pro-Am.
"Race one I started 11th overall and was racing with the Pros. We had a Safety Car and I didn’t hear on the radio the restart was coming so I was a bit further back from everyone and knew if I got every lap perfect, I could catch up." - said Hawkey.
"I got past Dorian, so I was happy, I made a place, finished tenth, and the race pace compared to the Pros was good, so I was very happy with it and was aiming to make more positions on Sunday."
Hawkey dominance continued in Race 2, where no Pro-Am opponent was able to challenge the young Brit for Sunday's class victory: the former W Series racer had a good start and finished again with a tenth overall place, five seconds ahead of Ratcliffe, who was eleventh and second in Pro-Am.
Starting from fourth, Harry King was protagonist of a great charge that started right at the first corner of a very fought opening lap, where Mason was forced to an early retirement due to a contact with Khera. Mid-way through the race, King re-claimed the second spot and started to put pressure on the then-leader Matthew Graham.
The Redline Racing driver cracked under King's pressure and made a mistake on lap 19, allowing to the Race 1 winner to overtake him for P1.
King doubles Saturday's result - just like Esmee Hawkey - as they both extend their leadership in the championship standings.
With nine victories in the 2020 campaign so far, the 22-year old lady from Kent leads the Pro-Am class tally with a 22-point advantage over Ryan Ratcliffe.
"Race two was good. I started well and was setting the same lap times as the leading Pros and was hoping to take ninth from Ross Wylie but had a big lock-up on lap five and from there I was managing the gap to Dorian behind me."
"It’s another win in Pro-Am and extending my lead in the championship. It’s been a good weekend for me with two wins, pole, fastest lap, and a lot of points to take home! I’m looking forward to a bit of a rest, so I’ll chill out then get back ready for Snetterton. "- were Hawkey's words at the end of another stellar weekend.
The penultime round of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB 2020 season will be at Snetterton on October 23-25, as the drivers can now enjoy a few weeks off after a very busy schedule earlier this month.