Jack Hawksworth ended a testing afternoon in the turn one barriers at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, with the crash having a lasting effect on the outcome of the race.
The AJ Foyt Racing driver’s trip into the barrier brought out the caution period that bunched up the field, negating Mikhail Aleshin’s ten second lead, and coupled with the Russian’s pit stop issues gave the advantage to the Penske duo of Simon Pagenaud and Will Power.
Hawksworth himself had a difficult race, struggling with the grip of the used red-walled tyres he began the race with, and later with the front left tyre of the new reds, and was outside the top ten when he had his incident.
“At the beginning of the race we were holding steady but we weren’t great on the used reds (tires),” said Hawksworth. “Unfortunately, we decided to stay out at the beginning and the yellow came out and we got hosed and sent to the back.
“On the new blacks, I was fine running in the pack with Graham (Rahal), (Charlie) Kimball and (Tony) Kanaan. Then we had a bobble on the second stop which was unfortunate because the first stop was very good.
“For some reason on the new reds the left front tire went away and I had no grip that stint. I was just hanging on at the end of the stint. I think I dropped an outside rear wheel into the grass going into Turn 1 trying to open up the corner and the car snapped when it was in the grass and off I went.”