St. Petersburg, FL - March 29, 2013 - The 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season is off to a good start for British driver Jack Hawksworth and his Bryan Herta Autosport/BBM team with an eight place spot on the starting grid for Sunday's Firestone Grand Prix of St. Pete.|
Hawksworth started his rookie season with a couple of solid practices, finishing in 10th place for two of the three sessions. The 23-year-old Yorkshire native was very happy with the No. 98 Honda-powered car, and confident in his ability to make it through to the later rounds of Firestone Fast Six qualifying.
The BHA crew was assigned to the second qualifying group. After a three-hour delay due to a deluge of St. Pete rain, the BHA crew, Hawksworth hit the track. He earned a P4 spot in his group, only 0.1483 seconds off the leader with a best lap time of 1:12.1556.
In the second round, Hawksworth was narrowly edged out of the Firestone Fast Six during the final seconds of the session. His best lap time of 1:03.5738 was only 0.5607 off the leader's pace, putting him in P8 to start Sunday's race.
"Good qualifying under tricky conditions," stated Hawksworth. "We were on rain tires in the beginning to get through the first segment. Then we were initially very quick in the second segment, although I thought we were going to get through but I made a little mistake at the end. If we could do it again, we could be a little bit higher but overall, I can't complain today for my first IndyCar qualification."
Team owner Bryan Herta added, "Outstanding effort by Jack and the whole team in very difficult conditions. He didn't drive like a rookie today and hopefully we can capitalize on a good starting position and bring home a great result tomorrow."
The green flag drops for the Verizon IndyCar Series season opener at 3:20 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 30. Fans can catch all the action from the 110-lap Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the live ABC broadcast starting at 3 p.m. ET.
About Bryan Herta Autosport
Founded by veteran driver Bryan Herta, and noted race engineer and team manager Steve Newey, Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) has been a race-winning team in Firestone Indy Lights competition since 2009 and won the 2011 Indianapolis 500 with driver Dan Wheldon in only its second IndyCar Series start. BHA currently fields entries in the IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights. Since 2012, BHA has partnered with Bowen and Bowers Motorsports, Inc. (BBM). Based in Toronto, Ontario, BBM is the coming together of leading sports and entertainment property development professionals, Chris Bowers and David Bowen. For more information, visit www.bryanhertaautosport.com.