Hawkey claims maiden class victory in Porsche carrera Cup UK
Esmee Hawkey was awarded Driver of the Day at Oulton Park, as she claimed race 2 class victory in Pro-Am.
W-Series driver Esmee Hawkey returned this weekend to Oulton Park for the 7th and 8th round of the Porsche Carrera Cup UK.
Hawkey had previously tested on the circuit and was confindent for a positive result: "I really enjoyed testing there, we had some good laptimes, good pace" - she said previously to the race event, "I've always been one step behind, second place, so hopefully it'll be the track where we'll be able to show our pace. Realistically I'm looking to fight with the Pros as well, so hopefully we can show our pace there and have some good racing."
The British lady put it all into action straight from the practice sessions, as she ended on top of both FP1 and FP2 in the Pro-Am class.
Overall pole position went to 18-year old Porsche Junior Dan Harper, while Esmee Hawkey kept setting the pace in the Pro-Am by putting in a strong performance to qualify ahead of Karl Leonard and Jack McCarthy.
"I'm really pleased to be on pole for that one. I just felt really confident with myself, really confident with the car, and just managed to put together the perfect lap. I love Oulton Park as well, it's such a technical circuit, a driver circuit. I loved every minute of it, I'm really happy with the result." - commented Hawkey after the brilliant qualifying result.
Unfortunately Saturday's race proved to be a tough one for Hawkey, as she lost a position to Leonard at the start. In the overall classification, Dan Harper kept his leadership into the first corner from Plato, who had jumped Gamble.
The battle for the Pro-Am podium saw Leonard, Hawkey and McCarthy within a one second gap, as the trio fought for tenth overall. At the start of lap 14, McCarthy attempted a move on Hawkey into Old Hall Corner, with the pair making contact. Both drivers went off the circuit, but while McCarthy had to retire, Esmee Hawkey was able to rejoin at the back of the field. McCarthy was subsequently handed a formal reprimand and lost two championship points for the collision.
On the final lap Webster and Roche also made contact but both managed to rejoin the action, having lost some positions. Harper took his fourth seasonal win after a dominant performance.
When the lights went out for the second race of the weekend, Orton maintained his reverse grid pole into the first corner, ahead of Gamble and Roche. In Pro-Am Karl Leonard led from Hawkey and McCarthy. On the second lap Plato found a way past Roche and moved up to 3rd, with Harper also managing to get by.
On the sixth lap Gamble successfully completed a move on Orton for the lead of the race; on the same lap Pro-Am category was shaken up as well, with Leonard going off and rejoining behind Hawkey and McCarthy.
Gamble pulled away and took a convincing victory, while Plato and Harper battled hard for P3. Esmee Hawkey crossed the line in 9th overall and first in Pro-Am, conquering her first class victory.
"The race was absolutely amazing. Obviously I had an unlucky first race, I didn't get quite the start that I needed in that race and it kinda put me behind some of the Pro-Ams where I qualified first, so it made my life difficult and then I got tagged and spun around in turn one so I had to start at the back of the grid for race 2. But I fought, I just gave it my all and raced for my life" - commented the 21-year old lady. "I managed to get the AMs on the first lap and then I was just battling with Karl Leonard, I was really in the mix with Pros as well so a great race and I enjoyed every minute of it."
Hawkey signed also the fastest lap of the second race and got awarded Driver of the Day for her performance on Sunday.
Now she sits second in the points standings, 9 points behind Leonard.
Hawkey will be back behind the wheel in a few days time at the Norisring, Germany, for the fourth round of the all-female championship W-Series: "I'm hoping for another successful weekend there and hopefully we can bring home some silverware or a top 10 finish would be really good."
In Esmee's words:
“I wanted to get that class win for a long time and now that I finally tasted that bit of victory and got to the top step I'm hoping to continue that for the rest of the season.”
Ph credits: Porsche UK