Yorkshire born racer Jack Hawksworth has got his Indy Lights title bid back on track following his third podium of the season at Iowa in the Sukup 100.
Following his first win at St Petersburg in his Indy Lights debut and a second place at the next round at Barber it all went down hill for the reigning Star Mazda champion with two DNFs at Long Beach and Indy and then a last place at Milwaukee seemed to suggest that Hawksworth’s season was slowly going off the boil – but a third place at the oval could suggest that Hawksworth will only keep climbing.
The race weekend started perfectly for the Schmidt Peterson Motorsport driver with a front row start following a strong qualifying session saw him start strongly in the following day’s race.
Currently fifth place in the standings, Hawksworth said: “I had a great car underneath me which naturally breeds confidence, and I stayed in front for the first 48 laps, but I think I must have shifted up to sixth gear just a fraction too early which cost me some momentum – and with it, the lead.
“After getting back on it, I closed the gap right down but then as we threaded our way through lapped traffic, one of the guys I was passing made a mistake and got it all crossed-up, which almost forced me into the wall and allowed the driver in third to overtake me. I had caught the top two again by the end, and as we all flashed across the line to take the chequered flag, there was next-to-nothing to choose between us.”
Hawksworth later said that he was pleased with his pace on ovals especially because many of his rivals have had a lot more experience on them while his first oval race was last year.
The next challenge for the Bradford racer is the “Tricky Triangle” at Pocono this weekend supporting the Pocono Indy 400 – the first time Indy has raced at the track since 1989.