18th June 2011 will be a day to remember for Jack Hawksworth. Just hours after the 20 year old had taken his first ever Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship pole position, he stormed away to take his maiden win in Round Nine of the 2011 season at Croft. The win was made extra special as it was in his first race for the Atech Reid GP team, after switching teams a couple of days before the meeting.
Hawksworth made a good start to lead into the first corner, followed by team-mate Tio Ellinas, who made a great getaway to move up from the second row of the grid. The duo were soon stuck behind the safety car though, caused by their team-mate Oscar King beaching his car on a kerb at the hairpin on the opening lap.
A perfectly timed restart helped Hawksworth hold his lead, though he was soon being put under immense pressure from Ellinas, a race winner at Donington Park earlier in the season. Holding third was Fortec Motorsport's Oliver Rowland, who had also got past team-mate Alex Lynn at the start.
Championship leader made an attempt for third place on lap thirteen, but the move forced him wide. Benefitting from this to sneak into fourth place was Manor Competition's Josh Hill. Behind there had been a change of position for sixth between Dan Wells and Mitchell Gilbert. A great getaway at the start had seen Atech's Wells gain the place, but a mistake on lap eleven at Tower allowed Fortec's Gilbert back through.
At the front, Hawksworth held off Ellinas to take the win by 0.502s, a first ever one-two finish for the Atech team. The duo finished over four seconds clear of Rowland in third, taking his sixth podium and eighth Graduate Cup win of the season. Hill held on to take his best result of the season in fourth, ahead of Lynn and Gilbert. Wells took seventh ahead of Mark Burdett Motorsport's Daniel Cammish, Manor Competition pair Alice Powell and Jordan King, and Oscar King.
Hawksworth commented: “I had a very nervy warm up lap before the start of the race as I had some issues with the clutch. I managed to keep my nerves and made a very good start to lead the pack into the first corner.
“I was slightly disappointed when the safety car came out as I lost my lead, but I got a good start at restart. For the rest of the race I knew that Tio was close behind but managed to hold on to get my first win in the series which I am absolutely delighted about.”