Hawkey still in title hunt
Hawkey still in title hunt

Kent’s Esmee remains firmly in hunt for Porsche Carrera Cup GB championship.

Esmee Hawkey battled back to remain in the mix for the Pro-Am championship in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at the weekend (August 30 – September 1), after what looked like a promising trip to Silverstone began to unravel.

Racing on the full Grand Prix circuit, the Kent racer maintained the momentum of a double victory at Thruxton last time out to top the class in both practice and qualifying, setting times faster than some of the Pro class drivers.

However, contact with a rival car on the opening lap of race one caused slight damage to her Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine and, when trying to fight back a few corners later, the car broke away from her in the fast Copse corner and into retirement.

Aiming to make up for things in race two, Esmee had a fantastic start but quickly found the car’s handling had substantially changed. Realising she had a big task on her hands, she took the sensible approach to bring the car home and score valuable championship points, rather than risk a second DNF.

That mature approach, coupled with points for pole position on Saturday, mean she is just three points behind rival Karl Leonard in the championship standings with four races left to run.

Esmee will return to action in the Carrera Cup over the weekend of September 27 – 29 back at Silverstone, this time competing on the shorter ‘National’ circuit layout, where she will look to seize the advantage in the Pro-Am class.

“I knew a lot of the drivers had been to Silverstone in the Porsche Supercup and I haven’t driven there in the Carrera Cup car. I also knew that it would be a difficult circuit as it’s long and also quite technical.

“Free practice went well and I was fifth overall, so it was amazing to be ahead of some of the Pro drivers, first in Pro-Am, and to be so high on the timesheets. I had a messy qualifying though; on the first set of tyres I had a really quick lap which was taken away for exceeding track limits, so I was only 15th. I knew I would have to put a lap in on the second run as I didn’t have a banker but luckily I kept cool, didn’t get fazed about it, and qualified seventh overall with the pole in Pro-Am so I got points for that which was key for the championship.

“My start wasn’t perfect in race one and I lost places to Karl Leonard and Tom Roche. I got past Tom, but I don’t think he saw me on the inside and I had some snap oversteer, so we came together. The car was fine, it was slightly out on the toe but it was driveable so I should have finished the race. I made a small mistake into Copse, had a spin, and went into the gravel and that was the end of the race.

“In race two I was really determined to take the win. I had a mega start and overtook maybe three cars off the line, so I was really pumped and ready for a successful race. Going into turn five Jack McCarthy passed me and I didn’t have the traction to fight back. The car felt like it was on ice and it was tricky to drive. Whether that was from race one or not I am not sure, but the car wasn’t the same one I had driven in practice and qualifying so I didn’t have pace and could only go backwards. At least I can say I beat Karl, so I decreased the gap by a point.

“A mistake cost me and means he is back in front of me in the championship, so we have some work to do over the last few races. It should have been a strong weekend for me as I was always at the top of the timesheets in Pro-Am, but once we got into the races it went downhill.

“We’re three points behind now so it’s all still to play for. I know I am quick at Silverstone and we’re back there next so I’m going to have to learn from the mistakes and how the car felt in race two, and make sure we have a positive visit next time.”