Jack Hawksworth produced an impressive performance during his maiden IndyCar test outing, the 22 year old describing his run with Rahal-Letterman Lanigan Racing at Sebring as a ‘dream come true.’
The Briton got the opportunity following a stunning start to his career stateside, the BRDC SuperStar currently being embroiled in a four-way title scrap in the Firestone Indy Lights series, following a record-breaking championship-winning rookie Star Mazda campaign last season.
Hawksworth set some consistently quick times around Sebring in a RLL-prepared 650bhp Dallara-Honda, setting times on a par with the regular IZOD IndyCar Series front-runners also in attendance, his performance impressing RLL engineer Eddie Jones.
“Jack was very impressive,” said Jones. “He has a great attitude and focus. From the first outing, it was quite clear that he is very capable and he had a very intelligent approach to the whole test. There is no doubt that he has all the ingredients to be a very good driver at this level.”
“I was so excited beforehand,” reflected Hawksworth. “I’d been waiting for this day ever since the test had been agreed, and it was an incredible opportunity. I felt comfortable and at home right from the ‘off’ – both in the car and also with the team. Everybody at RLL immediately made me very welcome and really helped me to settle in and get quickly up-to-speed.
“I loved how aggressive you can be with the IndyCar – you can push really hard and get down to the limit, which was a lot of fun. The way you need to approach and attack the corners is quite similar to in Indy Lights, to be truthful, but the major differences are in how much more aerodynamic downforce and grip the IndyCar has and the carbon brakes, which allow you to hit the pedal so much harder. There’s generally just a lot more to think about.
“It was a dream come true to drive at the pinnacle – one of the best days of my life, and I didn’t want it to end. I need to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Rahal Letterman Lanigan, Honda, Firestone and all the people involved in my career that made this fantastic opportunity happen. It was just an awesome day, and one that I will definitely remember!”