Both were looking forward to the weekend and were hoping to go well after very different starts to the season.
For Floersch, things have been going very well, with multiple rookie podium finishes and she felt confident of remaining a front runner at Thruxton. Hawkey on the other hand, has had very little luck, leaving Brands Hatch with a wrecked car (Through no fault of her own) and then finding her replacement car at Donington had engine issues which slowed her down. She was hoping for a trouble free weekend so she could finally start to show her potential.
Qualifying saw Hawkey take fifteenth place on the grid, higher than she had managed with her poorly car at Donington and not far off her season best thirteenth. Still not quite the top ten but back towards where she was hoping to be.
Things were even better for Floersch, she took an incredible second on the grid only 0.013 off taking pole.
Both races were on Sunday this time, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. As race one got underway, Floersch got a great start to charge into the lead as the cars went into the first corner. Behind her, Middleton and Zelos fought for postion with Middleton just in front of Zelos. This battling help Sophia pull away. Sadly a safety car was scrambled for an incident and Sophia’s lead was gone. But on the restart, Sophia handled things like a seasoned professional and held onto the lead. Zelos put Middleton under pressure and eventually passed him and then pressured Sophia for the win. She wasn’t going to be foiled today though and she held off Zelos for an incredible first overall win in only her fifth ever race. She celebrated on the podium picking up double trophies for the overall and Rookie wins.
Sadly behind things hadn’t gone so well for Hawkey. She had battled with the pack and looked set for a strong result until she was spun at the chicane and then hit during the closing stages. She recovered but was classified last with a damaged car. She was still having no luck.
For race two, Floersch was now starting on pole and the question was could she do the double?
She made a great start once again to pull away from the field and looked set for an easier win this time. But behind Hawkey’s luck was to desert her again as she spun into the barriers and another retirement. She was visibly upset as she waited by the side of the track. Hawkey’s misfortune meant a safety car and so Floersch’s lead was reduced down to nothing. Behind her was Zelos, Monger, Caroline and Middleton, who all wanted her lead. But Floersch was in no mood to give it up despite first Zelos and then Monger trying to take it off her with Caroline and Middleton all in the hunt as well. She held off Zelos successfully who then dropped another three positons with Monger now in second from Caroline and Middleton. Despite some last lap passing attempts by Monger, Floersch got her second win of the year.
It had been a near perfect weekend, two overall wins and of course two rookie wins giving her four winners trophies, maximum silverware! Floersch was very happy with how things had gone;
“It’s been an amazing weekend. To win the first race was perfect, and now we’ve managed to win again which is the best feeling ever. We’ve had good pace everywhere so far this year but we hadn’t got it together, but it did this weekend and its amazing.”
Things weren’t so good for Esmee Hawkey, despite showing excellent pace she had accidents in both races and just had a nineteenth place to show for the weekend. She clearly has speed and ability though, so she should be able to climb the field to join Floersch and make it two females at the front of the field.
Floersch found herself the sensation of the Uk motorsport media with the tv coverage, websites and magazines all going crazy about the youg 14 year old from Germany, Her twitter went crazy with several of the BTCC drivers congratulating her and saying how much she had impressed them. Jason Plato even went as far as tweeting Ginetta Boss Lawrence Tomlinson, suggesting he might want to hire her for Le Mans in a few years time!
Despite Hawkey’s misfortune so far this season, the future looks positive for her too. The next generation of girl racers are certainly making an impact! By Marc Waller