Jack Hawksworth has got his bid to make it back-to-back title successes in America off to the perfect start with victory on his debut in the 2013 Firestone Indy Lights Championship, winning the curtain-raising St. Petersburg 100.
Hawksworth, who dominated the Star Mazda Championship last season, headed into the weekend with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) in optimistic mood after a strong pre-season and he proved his potential by securing second place in qualifying, just two hundredths of a second off pole.
After slipping to fourth at the first corner of the race, the 22 year old quickly fought his way back to the front and benefitted from contact between the top two to take the lead, conserving his tyres and managing the gap to those behind perfectly to ensure he came home with the win.
The Yorkshireman continues a trend that has seen the last three Indy Lights season-openers won by SPM drivers, with all of them going on to the clinch the title in the same year, something Hawksworth isn’t thinking about just yet.
“To kick the campaign off on the top step of the podium is immensely satisfying and an important psychological boost, and I’m delighted with the result,” said the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award finalist. “It gives you the confidence and the momentum to go off and chase more wins. I was very happy with the pace we displayed, and hopefully in the upcoming rounds, we can extract even more of the car’s potential. There’s plenty still to come and the goal has to be to go to Barber Motorsports Park for round two and do the same again.”