Jessica Hawkins impresses in the Clio Road Sports at Brands Hatch

Jessica in Qualifying (photo by Marc Waller)Jessica Hawkins had her second ever car race meeting at the weekend as she rejoined the Michelin Clio Cup road series that she made her car racing debut in last year.

After missing the first part of the season due to a lack of budget, Jessica was eager to get going. The road series category of the championship uses race prepared road going Renault Clio 172 cars as opposed the the race series which uses the ex-Clio Cup UK race cars. Her car was probably the most standard of all the cars there, lacking even the roof spoiler that her rivals all had but it was being expertly run by SWB Motorsport. The weekend itself was just a qualifying session and two races.

Jessica had no money for any kind of testing to it was in at the deep end as she had to go straight into qualifying without having driven the car since last year.

The times tumbled and the positions swapped all through qualifying and Jessica was left in fifth by the end, just under a second off pole, a great effort given her lack of any kind of running in the car but Jessica was far from happy. However she knew there was more pace to come and the race would be a different story.

Focused on getting that podium (photo by Marc Waller) Jessica battling (photo by Marc Waller)Interview on the podium (photo by Marc Waller)Jessica got a great start as race one got underway to move up to fourth ahead of Jonathan Creasey as the top three battled ahead. Within a few laps Nic Harrison’s car ran into trouble promoting Jessica to third. By now the top two had pulled out a bit of a gap but she easily maintained her third place from her rivals behind and crossed the line in third to take another podium, her third in a still very short car racing career although of course she’s had many in karts. Jessica had mixed feelings on the race;

“Well I Finished P3 today in my first race of the year, and my second ever car race meeting. It’s great to get on the podium again, and I am sure we have many more to come! Good day, yet I still can’t help feeling a little disappointed!? Thanks to Simon Baldry and Jodie Warrington! Bring on tomorrow!”

Jessica again made a good start to be right behind the fight for the top three positions. She hung on intent on getting another podium but the experience of the drivers ahead showed and they started to pull away. Jessica tried to hang on but found that Jonathan Creasey was in her mirrors. She started to drive more defensively to stop him from sneaking past. This allowed the top three to pull away still further so it would now be a battle for fourth. Despite his best attempts with Jessica’s skills at defending her positon, Creasey couldn’t get past and Jessica crossed the line in fourth, just two tenths ahead of Creasey. It wasn’t another podium that Jessica had hoped for but it was still a great drive.

Jessica had an impressive weekend overall, keeping it on the track and staying very competitive despite having the least track time of all her rivals. With podiums already coming at this early stage, it surely won’t be long until we see Jessica on the top step.

Her next race is at Snetterton providing she can raise the budget to continue. The talented racer from Kent certainly deserves the support as she has already proven she has the potential to succeed in the sport. By Marc Waller

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