Eyes on Knockhill for Esmee Hawkey after challenging Oulton weekend
Esmee Hawkey heads to Knockhill while still leading the Pro-Am Porsche Carrera Cup GB championship, despite a penalty-determined difficult comeback in Race 1 and a DNF at the Oulton Park round.
Oulton Park hosted the fifth and sixth rounds of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB 2020 season, with lady racer Esmee Hawkey protagonist of an amazing start of season so far, leading the Pro-Am class in commanding fashion.
A penalty inflicted to the Brit at the end of last round though, forced Esmee to start Saturday's race from 16th despite a positive qualifying session where she held the ninth overall laptime.
“Qualifying was good but it was always going to be difficult with a seven-place grid penalty." - commented the former W Series driver. "It was a drying track and we went out quite early on a new set of slicks which probably wasn't the best thing to do, as we didn't get the time out of them. I had a good second run on new slicks and we managed to get ninth overall and were just five tenths off pole position, but it was difficult because the penalty then put me 16th." - were Esmee's words after the qualifying session.
Esmee Hawkey started her comeback charge right after the green lights and was successively in a close figth against Ryan Ratcliffe, Dorian Mansilla and Aaron Mason.
The battle for class lead between Ryan Ratcliffe and Aaron Mason reached his apex on lap 14 when the Brookspeed Connect IT driver made contact against his rival and suffered a arm injury that forced him to retire, allowing Esmee to advance to second Pro-Am class place.
The Race 1 ended after 18 laps without further position changes, in a track where it is notoriously difficult to find a gap to overtake. Esmee Hawkey was P14 overall and second in the Pro-Am class - also earning the fastest lap extra point.
Hawkey's teammate Ryan Ratcliffe was classified tenth overall and P1 in class, behind the whole group of PRO drivers - except Argentian Dorian Marsilla in P11 - as they secured the top-nine.
After his impressive Brands Hatch round, Harry King keept momentum and scored Race 1 victory at Oulton Park as well with a six-second gap to the closest rival - Josh Webster - and nine seconds to third-placed Lorcan Hanafin.
“I got a good start for race one and managed to get one place at the start but it's such a tricky circuit to overtake on, so I was just trying to do the best job possible." - said Hawkey after Race 1. "I had Dorian Mansilla in front of me and he was fighting to get past the Pro-Ams, so I did the best I could, but it was just really tough to get past."
There wasn't much to add to Sunday's Race 2 when misfortune hit Esmee Hawkey just after the green lights: a contact throught the Old Hall area sent the Team Parker Racing driver into a spin and out of the track. Her close meeting with the barriers resulted in a radiator damage that forced Esmee, without further chances, to retire two laps later.
“Race two was terrible." - she commented. "I was taken off on the first corner, which damaged the radiator so I had a DNF, but I’m already looking ahead to Knockhill next weekend and will be aiming to get some good results there.”
Ryan Ratcliffe conquered his second Pro-Am class of the weekend and closed the gap to Esmee - with the young lady from Kent still at the top of the class standings, currently holding a five points advantage despite the last challenging round.
Harry King, the 2020 season dominator so far, claimed his fifth win in a row, again followed by Josh Webster in second and by Redline Racing team member Scott McKenna in third.
Porsche Carrea Cup GB will be back on action next weekend in Scotland's Knockhill venue for round seven and eight of the 2020 season.