Hawkey impresses at Knockhill
Hawkey impresses at Knockhill

Esmee Hawkey continued her impressive campaign in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB with a strong performance on her debut at Knockhill in Scotland at the weekend.

The Kent-based teenager worked hard during practice to dial in the car to her liking, delivering a season-best qualifying effort of second place in the Pro-Am category, and eighth overall, just 0.050s off the Pro drivers.

With heavy rain falling on race day Esmee could have been excused for taking things easy, but she ran second in Pro-Am before a lock up meant rivals Seb Perez and Jamie Orton nipped past. Settling back down in fourth place, she refused to get ruffled when Justin Sherwood made contact as he aquaplaned into her and after a Safety Car period when Orton went off, Esmee started to challenge Perez for his second position.

While attempting to pass Perez, Esmee made a small error and spun, but she fought her way past a number of the Am category runners to recover to fourth in Pro-Am and tenth overall. Race two started behind the Safety Car and Esmee was comfortably running in fourth place in Pro-Am, but she lost grip as the rain eased off and was pipped by Orton as the pair lapped an Am runner, finishing in fifth place just 0.7s behind at the flag.

“I really enjoyed it. Wednesday was dry, and we made good progress. It’s a track I’ve never been to, so I was having to get my head around it. It’s not like any of the other tracks on the package: it requires a lot more focus, especially in the first sector, as it all comes at you so quickly and is very technical. It’s hard to find the last couple of tenths, but on the whole, it was a good day and we learnt a lot.

“We progressed on Friday and found more time which was promising for qualifying. Saturday was a really good day, absolutely mega. It was my best qualifying to date; I qualified second in Pro-Am and not too far off the Pro drivers, so I was really, really happy and was hoping for another sunny day on Sunday.

“It was a tough start to race one being uphill, but we didn’t lose any positions. The car felt really well set up and we were running in second place in Pro-Am. Coming into the last hairpin we locked up and we lost two places to Seb Perez and Jamie Orton and that hit my confidence a little.

“I got my head settled again and had Justin Sherwood catching me. He made a move into the hairpin, hit a puddle, and locked up and hit me before he retired. We then had a Safety Car as Orton went off and after that I went for a move on Perez for second place but had a bit of a spin and that put me back to fourth and behind a few Am drivers. I made my way past them and finished tenth overall and fourth in Pro-Am. We learnt a lot and it was good to run close to the Pro drivers.

“Race two wasn’t as exciting for me. We started behind the Safety Car and had good pace. We were running fourth in Pro-Am as it stopped raining and the track started to dry out. We lost a bit of grip when this happened, and I got pipped by Jamie Orton as we were passing Shamus Jennings exiting Clark’s, so I finished fifth.

“Overall I’m really happy. We’re getting faster and closing the gap to the Pro drivers which is encouraging. It’s a good step forward and I’m looking forward to racing at Silverstone next time out. I really enjoy competing there and I’m quite excited to be racing there in the Porsche.”