Hawksworth Maintains Championship Lead With Barber Podium

British single-seater racer Jack Hawksworth continued his strong start to the 2013 Firestone Indy Lights Championship with second place in the Legacy Indy Lights 100 at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.

Having won the curtain-raising St. Petersburg 100 last month, and with a victory in Star Mazda at Barber last year under his belt, the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver was confident heading into the second meeting of the year.

Despite having his scheduled pre-season test at Barber cancelled due to incessant rain, Hawksworth was right on the pace at the start of the weekend. In qualifying, the ever-improving BRDC SuperStar missed out on pole position when the session was ended early with the introduction of red flags, leaving him to settle for second place, less than a tenth of a second shy of pole.

A good start to the race allowed Hawksworth to run side-by-side with the pole-sitter Carlos Munoz heading into Turn One, but with Munoz holding the inside line, he had to slot into second. A brief battle with team-mate Gabby Chaves allowed Munoz to stretch a gap and that was the end of Hawksworth’s chances of winning.

After pulling comfortably clear of third place, Hawksworth was able to trade lap times with the leader, but was unable to close him down, finishing up a whisker over five seconds adrift of the experienced second-year driver. The results leaves 22 year old Hawksworth with a twelve point advantage at the top of the championship standings heading to California for the legendary Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 21.

“Obviously, it would have been great to win at Barber – that’s always the goal – but I was still really happy to be up there on the podium again and to have put more important points on the board,” said the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award finalist.

“That’s vital at this stage of the season, because whilst the championship isn’t usually won yet, it can certainly be lost. Long Beach will be completely new territory for me, but I’m really looking forward to the challenge. After Indianapolis, it’s the biggest race on the Indy Lights calendar without a shadow of a doubt. The track looks fantastic, and everything I’ve heard about it is amazing.”