Jessica Hawkins takes maiden win in TCR UK
Jessica Hawkins surely had a blast on Easter weekend: from a good debut in Race 1 which put her at the front of the grid for the following race, to making history and becoming the first woman to win in the British TCR series!
The British TCR-sanctioned touring car championship got underway for its first race weekend of the season at Oulton Park last weekend. The series is in its fifth season and started on a really positive note for W Series racer Jessica Hawkins, who joined the series in a full-time deal at the wheel of the FASTR Cupra TCR for Area Motorsport. Hawkins started racing both single seaters and touring cars back in 2014 - and had a pretty amazing career so far: she finished second in the Mini Challenge UK Pro class championship, competed in several British categories and was selected to compete in the inaugural season of the all-female F3 championship W Series in 2019. She showed great potential and was back for the 2021 season, finishing 11th in a highly competitive grid. Since 2021, Jessica joined Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team in an Ambassador and Development Driver role - and was confirmed to enter again in the W Series championship in 2022, having impressed in pre-season testing. At her first race in TCR UK, Hawkins started race 1 in ninth position, after a positive qualifying session. She was able to fight throughout the race and held that position. After some good battles, she finished the race in the same position where she started - crucially gaining the first row for the reverse grid on race 2. The second race saw the green lights on Monday and Hawkins led every lap: she made a flawless start and immediately overtook her teammate Steve Gales. Even if the race start was trouble-free for the front-runners, there was drama further down the field that caused the first appearance of the Safety Car.
The race resumed after two laps - with another amazing restart by Hawkins, who was able to increase the gap from the pack; soon after, though, Hart started to put pressure on Jessica, before another safety car was deployed. Hawkins had another flawless restart, gained almost two seconds, and kept her position.
She continued to defend her place like a lion - as her opponent wasn't an easy one to beat: Max Hart is in fact a multiple race winner in the series. After some very close fights, Hawkins took the checkered flag in first position, winning with a margin of less than a second.
This weekend Jessica not only made history, being the first woman winning a TCR UK race, but showed her skills as a driver and demonstrated that she can withstand pressure - and she can do it flawlessly. TCR UK will be back at Donington Park at the end of May and we can't wait to see Jessica's amazing performance all over again!