Dec 23, 2013, 2:15 PM EDT
Indy Lights driver Jack Hawksworth was eyeing last week’s IndyCar testing at Sebring International Raceway as an opportunity to bolster his chances of earning a drive in the 2014 IndyCar Series championship. He may have done just that.
Hawksworth ran with Honda-powered Dale Coyne Racing during the sessions and looked sharp, reportedly posting the second-fastest time among those running a 2013-spec single-turbo engine. According to DCR engineer John Dick, the young Englishman logged 89 laps around the Sebring short course.
“Jack’s feedback was also impressive given his relative inexperience with an IndyCar and almost no history with this particular team’s chassis set-up,” Dick said before declaring that Hawksworth was as good as “any of the current Top-5 championship drivers” in regards to getting the most out of a given set-up.
“In conclusion, he would be a valuable asset to Dale Coyne Racing,” he said.
That had to be music to Hawksworth’s ears after he did what he could to impress the paddock in the final tests of 2013. Drawing upon lessons learned from his first IndyCar test with Rahal Letterman Lanigan this past fall, he felt he was able to get into a rhythm with the car much more quickly.
“Hopefully, my performance turned a few heads and made people sit up and take note,” he said. “There are six weeks before official pre-season testing begins, so it’s up to us to try and make something happen between now and then to secure a place on the 2014 IndyCar starting grid. That’s the goal, and we’re working absolutely flat-out to achieve it.”
Hawksworth won at St. Petersburg, Toronto and Baltimore this past season in Lights before finishing fourth in the series championship for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Photo Credit: John Hendrick/INDYCAR