Jessica Hawkins debuts in the Mini Challenge at Snetterton

Track action (Photo by Mini Challenge)Jessica Hawkins made her Mini Challenge debut last weekend at Snetterton as she joined the open class for the first time.

She only currently has enough budget for the first three meetings so it was very important to her to make a good impression. But the Mini Challenge has always been fiercely competitive with tough, top class opponents so Jessica was unsure where she would fit into the eighteen car grid especially as she hadn’t raced a car at all since the previous October.

Qualifying was the time to find out and Jessica blew everyone away. She was immediately right on the pace and not only that, she improved on each lap to take a strong and impressive debut pole position.

The first race was later that same day and Jessica was keen to get going and show what she could do from pole.

As the lights went out, she certainly did show what she could do! A great start saw her launch into an instant lead which she then pulled out with every lap before crossing the line 1.7 seconds ahead, her first Mini Challenge win in her first race, an amazing achievement in a championship which often sees drivers taking a season to adapt. Plus a 1.7 second lead in such a close championship was huge.

Sunday saw two more races, the first would feature the same grid as the first, the third race would be a reverse grid based on the race two result.

Jessica got a great start once again although this time she found rival Sam Weller running her close. That was until Sam was awarded a three second penalty for ignoring a yellow flag, meaning he was dropped out of second place in the final result. This gave Jessica a second win of the weekend, meaning she was so far unbeaten in the championship! But race three was a reverse grid. Jessica was placed sixth on the grid by the draw but with Sam Weller receiving a three place grid penalty for an infringement, She would line up fifth. It would be hard to get a third win from there but a podium looked possible if Jessica could pass some of her rivals in front.

Podium (Photo by Mini Challenge)Within three laps she had already made it up to the target third position having overtaken Richard Newman and Owen Walton. She pushed hard to try and catch the first two but by now they had a reasonable gap. She closed but didn’t have enough time to challenge them but still crossed the line in an excellent third place.

Two firsts and a third saw her lead the championship by 25 points after her best racing weekend in cars of her career.

Jessica was very happy with how things had gone;

“What an amazing weekend, amazing team & amazing racing. A Pole, two wins, and a third place finish in the reverse grid race. I’m 25 points clear in the championship! I couldn’t be happier, but it’s now a big push to find the budget for the rest of the season. A big thank you to Excelr8, Brian, Biz Karts and the support messages. Special thanks to my mechanic Toyah Rule” By Marc Waller 

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