Hawkey reflects on what might have been
Hawkey reflects on what might have been

Esmee Hawkey returned to action last weekend as the second half of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB season began at Snetterton in Norfolk. Hoping to build on a strong showing at Oulton Park in June, the teenager ran well in the build-up to Sunday’s races but struggled for grip in damp conditions on race day.With testing and free practice held in scorching conditions Esmee had confidence in the car and finished Friday’s second practice session third fastest in Pro-Am, before following up in the same position during Saturday’s qualifying session.

In the first of Sunday’s two 14-lap events she opted for wet tyres but without the car being ideally set up and the damp conditions offering little grip, the Kent-based teenager was happy to simply finish the race without damage and secure more points.

She unlocked the car’s performance in race two, matching the times of the fastest Pro-Am runners, but having lost time avoiding an incident with some of the Am category drivers, could only battle to fifth place.

Speaking after the weekend, Hawkey said: “Testing went well, it was really excellent weather and so a good opportunity to get a full understanding of the slick tyres. We tried to find as much time as possible and close the gap to the Pro drivers. Going into Friday we were confident, and we were able to do a practice qualifying run which was good, but we knew there was more time to come.

“In qualifying itself we didn’t quite get the best out of the first set of tyres but on the second set we did a good job and got third in Pro-Am. It was a shame we didn’t get to race on the Saturday as we were well set up and come Sunday it was raining so it wasn’t ideal for us.

“It wasn’t wet for race one, but it was greasy, so I struggled a little bit and we didn’t have the car set up for the conditions. It was a last-minute call to go onto wets, so it was all learning for me as I haven’t done a lot of running in the wet so far. My start was alright, but during the race it was like we were on skates so to just bring it home in one piece was a result.

“I got a bad start to race two as I was on the wrong side of the grid and on slick tyres. We were a bit on the back foot after race one, but we were matching the times of the top Pro-Am drivers. Unfortunately, early on in the race I had to take avoiding action when two Am drivers came together in front of me and I lost a chunk of time. The gap was too big to overcome so it became a bit of a test day. It’s a shame as it would have been good to be racing against the Pro-Am class leaders again.

“It wasn’t the best of weekends, but I’ve learnt a lot and we’re looking forward to going to Knockhill and running at the front of the Pro-Am category. I’ve never raced there so I’m not sure what to expect but I hadn’t raced at Monza either and that worked out alright so hopefully it will go the same way.”

Esmee will next race in the Carrera Cup at Knockhill in Scotland, her first time at the 1.3-mile circuit. The action starts with a Porsche test on Wednesday August 22 before practice, qualifying, and two 32-lap races over August 24-26.