Pole and Podium for Hawkey
Pole and Podium for Hawkey
Esmee Hawkey made a big impression on the Porsche Carrera Cup GB paddock this weekend with a stellar performance to claim a race one podium and pole position for race two.

The Kent native quickly got to grips with the challenging Monza circuit during free practice, before making it count in Saturday’s qualifying session. She put in a good, clean run to secure 12th on the grid for the half hour contest that afternoon.

Esmee showed a maturity to belie her years at the start of the first race, positioning the car expertly to avoid a number of incidents which unfolded ahead of her into the first corner. Emerging unscathed, after the Safety Car period, she held her own, quickly passing Shamus Jennings and closing in on Pro-Am rival Seb Perez, before having to settle for second place in class and sixth overall.

Esmee started from pole position for race two, which coud have brought extra pressure, but she got a superb start to lead the pack as contact once again marred the start. She lost a couple of places through the Curva Grande but showed good pace to stick with title contenders Dino Zamparelli and Tio Ellinas.

When the chance to take the class lead from Perez presented itself she seized it. Going into the Parabolica she sent the car up the inside, but unfortunately momentum carried the car into a spin, causing her to lose ground and ultimately cross the line fourth in Pro-Am and tenth overall. Despite this it was a brilliant display of intent from the 19-year old with plenty to take away from one of the world’s most challenging race tracks.

Speaking after the weekend, Hawkey said: “I’ve never been here so it was a completely new track to me. It really helped having done some simulator work, so we knew where we were going and the where the braking points were. I was learning every step of the way, we were able to go through the data to see where the improvements could be found and apply them in the next session, so we progressed every time out.

“Qualifying went well. We only ran one set of new tyres, so we had to make it count. It’s really close, a couple of tenths separate all the Pro-Am drivers. It’s such a fast circuit so time is hard to find.

“The start of race one was always going to be tough. I avoided the carnage and got a clean escape. From then on, I kept my head down and did lap after lap trying to pull away from the people in my class. I was absolutely ecstatic to finish sixth because it just shows our progression but to top it off getting pole position for race two was the cherry on top.

“In race two I managed to get through turn one but got jumped by two Team Parker cars. I was happy with my start though as it was nice and clean and set me up for the race. I knew the pro class drivers were going to be coming for me it was a case of just doing the best I could. Dino [Zamparelli] and Tio [Ellinas] got by but I was racing with Tom Wrigley and I was still in touch with Tio and Dino, which was great because it meant I was quick enough to race them. I’m taking all the positives from the race and I’ll carry the momentum to Oulton Park.”