Jack Hawksworth’s Californian dream turned into reality at Laguna Seca as the Briton secured the 2012 Star Mazda Championship in style in his maiden season in America.
Sensationally dominating the championship from the word go, Hawksworth headed into the penultimate meeting of the year at Laguna Seca with seven wins to his name and a healthy 61 point lead in the championship, meaning a solid weekend would ensure him the title.
The Bradford-born racer secured a superb, record-extending eleventh pole position of the season in qualifying and led the whole opening race, overcoming a late scare at the legendary Corkscrew to secure his eighth win of the season, a new Star Mazda record, and with it the championship title and the ‘Rookie of the Year’ honours.
Third on the grid for race two, Hawksworth battled set-up issues and fading tyres to secure second place, his twelfth podium finish of the season, the result securing Team Pelfrey the teams’ trophy for the second year in succession.
The title win earns Hawksworth more than $600,000 of scholarship funding from the prestigious ‘Mazda Road to Indy’ programme to help him graduate into Indy Lights in 2013, moving him one step closer to the eventual goal of Indycar.
“It’s been the best weekend of my life so far and I can’t begin to tell you how relieved I am,” enthused Hawksworth.
“I came into this season knowing I needed to win the championship if I was going to have any chance of continuing my racing career, and I’m so happy to have had Team Pelfrey helping me and supporting me all the way. They’ve given me fantastic equipment throughout, so it’s just an amazing feeling to wrap it all up and achieve everything we set out to achieve at the start of the year.
“I haven’t driven an Indy Lights car yet – I wanted to focus on getting the job done in Star Mazda and not tempt fate by dividing my attention – but now I’ve won the scholarship, perhaps I need to start having a bit of a think about what I want to do next year…”
Photo Credits: Eric McCombs