Michelin Clio Cup Road Series podium finisher Jessica Hawkins will make a welcome return to the championship for the fourth event of the season at Brands Hatch later this month – the 19-year-old’s first outing since her car racing debut in the category at Rockingham last November.
Renewing her successful partnership with Daventry team SWB Motorsport, the squad which carried the young starlet to a fantastic second place finish – as well as the fastest lap – in the Autumn Cup eight months ago, Jessica is absolutely thrilled to be making her return to action on 26th/27th July.
Having been forced to sit on the sidelines for the first half of 2014 due to budget restrictions, Chatham-based Jessica, who originally hails from Farnham near Guildford, has managed to secure the funds to join the Road Series grid for rounds seven and eight and she is setting her sights high when she gets back behind the wheel of SWB’s race-converted Clio Renaultsport 197.
“It’s been a long time since I was in the car, and I’ve not had any racing in between, but I’m so up for Brands – I can’t wait to get there”, said Jessica, “I’m really looking forward to being back with SWB, everyone at the team is fantastic and Simon [Baldry – team principal] was awesome at Rockingham last year and made me feel so welcome. It’s going to be great continuing that relationship.
“As I’ve been out of the car for so long, Brands will be the same as Rockingham was really but we came away from there with a second place and the fastest lap. If I can go one better than that I’ll be very happy, I want to do the best I can and I’ll definitely be pushing hard.”
While bolstering the overall grid at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, Jessica also doubles the female participation in the Michelin Clio Cup Road Series by joining 2014 championship regular, and fellow class podium finisher, Sarah Franklin (Kettering).
Jessica added: “It’s great to be back in the Michelin Clio Cup Road Series, it’s a brilliant step out of karting and gives you really good tuition all-round in what you need to learn. Trying to make a career in saloons is more achievable than single-seaters, so if we can find the budget to keep racing in the Road Series the aim would be to then progress into the Race Series next year.”
Ahead of rounds seven and eight of the season three weeks from now, Westbourne Motorsport’s Anton Spires (Milton Keynes) leads the Michelin Clio Cup Road Series standings by a remarkable 53 points and will arrive at Brands Hatch off the back of four straight race victories.
Privateer Jake Honour (Devizes), who runs with assistance from Jade Developments, is second in the championship just two points ahead of CGHimports.com driver Nic Harrison (Stretton, Burton-on-Trent). Sarah Franklin completes the top four, within 11 points of Harrison.
Along with headline sponsors Michelin and Protyre, the Clio Cup Series is additionally supported by Ferodo and Safety Devices.