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Hawksworth revved up for the challenge ahead as sponsor forecasts a 'bright future'

Jack Hawksworth has kick-started his bid to make it back-to-back championship triumphs across the other side of the Pond in 2013, and as he endeavours to cement his reputation as America's brightest young British hope, the gifted Bradford-born speed demon can count on some vital local support.

After shifting his nascent single-seater career stateside in 2012, Hawksworth promptly broke virtually every record in the book en route to clinching the fiercely-contested Star Mazda Championship crown as a US racing rookie. He subsequently stepped things up another gear this year by signing to compete for multiple title-winning operation Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) in the Firestone Indy Lights Championship - just one notch down the ladder from his ultimate IZOD IndyCar Series goal.

The McLaren Autosport Award finalist, British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) Rising Star and TORGOEN Swiss brand ambassador had the chance to get to grips with his new 'office' during the first official pre-season testing outing around Florida's 2.21-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway road course. There, he was able to gauge his potential against a number of the rivals he is likely to encounter in wheel-to-wheel duels over the course of the coming months.

"It was a fantastic opportunity to spend some more time working with the team and to start preparing in the best way possible for the St. Petersburg curtain-raiser next month," Hawksworth revealed. "It was a great integration and relationship-building exercise, since I got to see more of how SPM works and by the same token, they got a better idea of how I work.

"We experimented with some different changes and tweaks to the set-up in order to try and understand the characteristics of the Lights car more and figure out the best way to extract performance from it. Compared to last year, it has quite a lot more horsepower than the Mazda but is also quite a bit heavier; that means it requires a little more patience, but you still need to maintain the same level of commitment.

"There is certainly an art to driving these cars, but being with such a good team means it shouldn't take me long to get up-to-speed. There are highly-skilled individuals across this whole team, and we have a great chance to have a fantastic season."

If the 21-year-old Cullingworth native is confident about his prospects in the light of SPM's experience, expertise and outstanding record in the sport - the last time any other outfit lifted the Indy Lights laurels was in 2009 - then he has also received a timely shot-in-the-arm from back home, as Bingley-based business and education internet solutions firm Exa Networks has thrown its backing behind his quest for glory.

As Hawksworth thanked Exa for its support and forecast 'a great season' ahead together, the company's Head of Projects and Business Solutions, Mark Elders, mused that partnering the former national and international karting ace was a 'no-brainer'.

"I first observed Jack's passion for racing in karts, and his ultimate ambition to become a professional racing driver was a clear indication of his determination from the start," Elders opined. "Having seen him race close-up, I was left in no doubt that he would be a success. The opportunity to sponsor him was a 'no-brainer', and it was with great excitement that we decided to help him where we can. He's a Bradford lad just like us and is a young man starting out on an exciting career path.

"At the same time, Jack is so well-grounded and mature for his age, and with such natural talent it's easy to understand why we all support him. He is a real professional and is always analysing the car and his own performance and communicating with his team to make things better. That's something you don't often see in young drivers.

"This year, he has been given a seat in arguably the best Indy Lights team there has ever been - certainly the most victorious team in the series' history. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has won the past three championships in a row, meaning Jack could not be in any better hands.

"So many people in the business have noticed his exceptional ability, and I'm pretty confident he is going to have an excellent 2013. His longer-term goal is to gain a seat in IndyCars and race in the legendary Indianapolis 500 - and if he is as successful as he was last year, he's going to achieve that objective. For Jack Hawksworth, the future is looking extremely bright!"

Report by Russell Atkins

30th March 2015
Hawksworth's eventful weekend results in 8th place finish at St Petes. more..
29th October 2014
Jack to drive for AJ Foyt in 2015 more..
24th August 2014
Hawksworth Battles Through Race in Sonoma more..
17th August 2014
Hawksworth Top 10 Oval Finish in Milwaukee more..
3rd August 2014
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25th July 2014
Prototype Challenge win for Hawksworth at the Brickyard Grand Prix more..
20th July 2014
Crazy Weekend in Toronto for Hawksworth more..
29th June 2014
Podium for Hawksworth in Grand Prix of Houston more..
7th June 2014
Top 15 for Hawksworth at Texas Motor Speedway more..
10th May 2014
Hawksworth Finishes Seventh After Leading Inaugural GP of Indianapolis more..
27th April 2014
Twelfth Place Finish for Jack at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama more..
23rd April 2014
Bryan Herta Autosport Pre-Race Notes - Grand Prix of Alabama more..
12th April 2014
Hawksworth Impresses with Fifth Place Start in Long Beach more..
30th March 2014
Fantastic Run Cut Short for Hawksworth in First IndyCar Race more..
30th March 2014
BHA and Hawksworth to Start Eighth in IndyCar Season Opener more..
5th March 2014
Hawksworth Graduates to IndyCar with Bryan Herta Autosport more..
19th December 2013
Hawksworth as good as IndyCar top 5 in scintillating Sebring test more..
18th September 2013
Hawksworth tipped to shine after impressive IndyCar test with RLL more..
3rd September 2013
Hawksworth revved up for IndyCar test with RLL Racing more..
1st September 2013
Baltimore triumph fires Hawksworth up for late-season title push more..
4th August 2013
Jack pulls a rabbit out of the hat with Mid-Ohio podium on difficult weekend more..
13th July 2013
Hawksworth back in the title hunt after Indy Lights victory in Toronto more..
23rd June 2013
Hawksworth gets season back on-track with podium at Iowa more..
7th April 2013
Hawksworth maintains early-season advantage with podium at Barber more..
23rd March 2013
Hawksworth kick-starts Indy Lights title bid with victory in St Petes more..
8th March 2013
Hawksworth 'honoured' as BRDC promotes Jack to a SuperStar more..
5th February 2013
Hawksworth revved up for the challenge, EXA predict a bright future
10th December 2012
Hawksworth to race for SSM in 2013 Indy Lights Championship more..
3rd December 2012
Jack receives the prestigious BRDC 2012 Henry Surtees award more..
2nd October 2012
Jack over-the-moon to be selected as McLaren AUTOSPORT Award finalist more..
9th September 2012
Hawksworth swoops in to lift Star Mazda 2012 championship crown more..
5th September 2012
Baltimore brilliance, Hawksworth on brink of Star Mazda crown more..
20th August 2012
Hawksworth the joy of six with tremendous Trois-Rivieres triumph more..
22nd July 2012
Dominant Hawksworth takes fifth victory of 2012 more..
10th July 2012
Flawless Hawksworth doubles up north of the border more..
25th June 2012
Team Pelfrey Shows Speed but Lacks Luck at Iowa Speedway more..
8th June 2012
Hawksworth goes away 'stronger' from damage limitation oval bow more..
5th May 2012
Jack shines on oval test debut and professes he's ready for 'the big one' more..
10th April 2012
On-form Hawksworth speeds ahead in Star Mazda rankings more..
27th March 2012
Jack stuns with 'awesome' Star Mazda victory for Team Pelfrey more..
20th November 2011
Jack signs for Team Pelfrey and Star Mazda in the USA for 2012 more..