Hawksworth tests IndyCar at Sebring
18 September 2013 – British driver Jack Hawksworth got behind the wheel of an IndyCar for the first time on Tuesday, completing 123 laps around the Sebring International Raceway short course with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
Born in Yorkshire, Hawksworth moved to the United States in 2012 to compete in the Star Mazda Championship, having previously beaten Red Bull junior drivers Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr. in the 2010 Formula Renault Winter series.
A record-breaking first season in America saw him crowned Star Mazda champion at the first attempt, in the process breaking the series records for fastest laps, poles and wins. Having graduated to Indy Lights for 2013, the 22-year-old remains a title contender in his debut season, currently sitting 11 points off the lead with two rounds remaining.
"It was great, it was fantastic just to get into an Indy car for the first time," Hawksworth said of the test. "Just to get to drive an Indy car is like a dream come true. I really enjoyed the first session and enjoyed how much downforce the car had and how much you can attack with this car because it’s just got so much grip you can really be aggressive with it.
"There is a huge difference from driving the Indy Lights car. The Indy car is a lot more modern and you have a lot more to think about in the car. There are a lot more knobs on the steering wheel and what not. It’s a lot like stepping into the future, driving an Indy car compared to the Indy Lights car. It’s got a lot more grip, a lot more downforce and a bit more power. It’s just a bigger, faster car and it’s always fun when you jump into something that is a step up. And it certainly was that."
Speaking of his future plans, Hawksworth confirmed that he is hoping to continue his career in the US, with a return to European competition not on the cards for the foreseeable future.
"I would love to race in IndyCar, that's for sure," he said. "This has increased my desire to race at this level because I think I can do a good job. I would like to race one of these cars one day. That’s something to look at after I finish my Indy Lights season."