News & Multimedia

Indy 500 Rookie Report: Jack Hawksworth

Jack Hawksworth says he was duly impressed on his initial visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October 2011 for a Mazda Road to Indy test on the road course.

“I remember turning up and thinking, ‘Bloody hell, this place is big.’ The size of the facility and the grandstands, especially when there’s nobody in them, is just impressive,” said the native of Bradford, England, who was 20 years old at the time for the Star Mazda test.

His perspective of the iconic 2.5-mile oval was dramatically altered May 5, when he participated in the Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program.

“When you’re doing 220 mph the place seems small,” Hawksworth added. “When you get out there, suddenly the track is a lot narrower and you’re flat out coming off Turn 4 and Turn 1 looks a lot tighter than when you’re looking at it from the grandstands or on TV. It’s much trickier; you see that they are real corners. Turn 1 looks like a hairpin the first time you come up on it.”

Hawksworth, who has logged 89 total laps in practice for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in the No. 98 BHA/BBM with Curb-Agajanian entry, handled the upgrade flawlessly until midway through the shortened session May 14 when the car made contact with the Turn 3 SAFER Barrier in the first incident of the month. He was checked and cleared to drive.

Hawksworth, with a best lap of 224.000 mph (40.1786 seconds) is confident the repaired car will contend for the Verizon P1 Award in qualifying for the first oval race of the Verizon IndyCar Series season. He qualified on the outside of the front row for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis and has recorded two other top-10 starts in the four races.

He led a field-high 31 of the 82-lap race May 10 on the 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in finishing a season-high seventh.

“Our race pace is a bigger confidence boost for us we continue to chip away and get quicker for the rest of the season,” said Hawksworth, the 2012 Star Mazda champion who placed fourth in the 2013 Indy Lights championship with three victories. “Leading the race, that’s when I feel most comfortable as a driver. The car was just working fantastically and felt pretty easy out front.

“Every single race I’m learning about how the races develop. It’s not like a sprint race where you qualify on pole you probably win the race. You never know who’s going to win until the last stop. I’m beginning to get my head around that and hopefully as I do and the team improves overall we’ll exploit the opportunities.”

The opportunity to drive for the team co-owned by former Indy car driver Bryan Herta and Steve Newey arose from a test Feb. 17 at Sebring International Raceway. Hawksworth had already auditioned with Dale Coyne Racing and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, and was making contingency plans to explore being a personal trainer if a full-season Verizon IndyCar Series ride didn’t materialize.

“It was a realistic plan; I didn’t think I was going to be in INDYCAR this year,” he said. “The people around me thought there was more of a shot than I did. I had been doing a bit of karting but nothing really developed on the IndyCar side and I wasn’t going to do Lights again because there really weren’t any options there. I didn’t want to sit all year, so I had a realistic plan to focus on something else and not be bitter if it didn’t work out.”

So far, it’s worked out well.

“I want to win and I think we have a great opportunity to build on what we’ve done from the beginning of the year so I’m really happy,” Hawksworth said. “I’ve been blessed to have this opportunity; it was unexpected.”

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Indy 500 Rookie Report: Jack Hawksworth
Indy 500 Rookie Report: Jack Hawksworth
Jack Hawksworth says he was duly impressed on his initial visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October 2011 for a Mazda Road to Indy test on the road course.
Read More
Related Media
Pippa Mann
Mann, Cancer Survivors Transform IMS Start/Finish Line
In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Pippa Mann, who has driven the pink-and-white Susan G. Komen car in the past two Indianapolis 500 Mile Races, IMS president J. Douglas Boles and a group of breast cancer survivors got on their knees with paint rollers and applied the colorful change.
Read More
Kevin Harvick
Monday Racing Roundup: Harvick Advances With Clutch Win at Dover
Forced to win at Dover International Speedway to keep his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship hopes alive Sunday, Kevin Harvick did just that, dominating Sunday’s AAA 400 to stave off elimination from the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Read More
Tony Stewart
Stewart Officially Announces Retirement from Sprint Cup
Tony Stewart officially announced his retirement from NASCAR Sprint Cup racing after the 2016 season on Wednesday, saying the choice was “100 percent mine” and that he’s not done racing in other series.
Read More
Justin Wilson
Watch Streaming of 'Celebrating the Life of Justin Wilson' at 4 p.m. ET Sept. 29 on
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host "Celebrating the Life of Justin Wilson" at 4 p.m. ET Sept. 29. The event is open only to members of the racing community, but fans can watch via live streaming on
Read More
Matt Kenseth
Monday Racing Roundup: Kenseth Wins as Harvick Runs Dry at N.H.
Kenseth, who came to pit road for fuel and tires on Lap 239, triumphed for the fifth time this season (tops in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series), for the second time at the Magic Mile and for the 36th time in his career. He finished 8.941 seconds ahead of Hamlin, who nursed his car to a runner-up finish despite a late-race issue with the right front wheel.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,047
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at
Latest Tweets
See IMS through the eyes of the best Instagramers, via @mashable and @ForzaMotorsport -
about 16 hours ago