Hawksworth having a tough 2014

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The Indy Lights veteran talks about the differences in driving Barber in a Lights car and an IndyCar

Jack Hawksworth has had some rotten racing luck this season. He qualified in the top 12 at St. Petersburg before his race ended after a restart crash and in Long Beach he had a time in the Firestone Fast Six that came to nothing after he got caught up in the Josef Newgarden/Ryan Hunter-Reay incident.

However, his first race at Barber Motorsports Park in the Verizon IndyCar Series should prove to be a good step up from his experience in Indy Lights, where he finished 2nd in 2013. Hawksworth discusses the differences between the two different kinds of cars.

“The biggest difference is that you have a little more downforce than in the Indy Lights car, the Indy Lights car has grip but doesn’t have as much downforce so in an IndyCar you can carry a lot more speed in the corner, the general style of the circuit is pretty similar,” Hawksowrth said.

Jack Hawksworth, Schmidt Peterson c/w Curb-Agajanian
Jack Hawksworth, Schmidt Peterson c/w Curb-Agajanian

Photo by: Rebecca McKay

Driving the circuit, however, is nearly the same between the two kinds of cars.

“There’s a couple of places you adjust your line slightly to compensate for the extra speed,” Hawksworth noted.

On track, however, Hawksworth will have to adjust more than his line in order to get up front. Compared to Long Beach, passing is more difficult at Barber and he highlights why.

“There’s a heavy brake zone into five [at Barber], and at Long Beach and there’s a few places where you hit the pedal very hard. Around here a lot of the corners like two and three are very aero-dependant,” Hawksworth explained.

Jack Hawksworth, Bryan Herta Autosport Honda
Jack Hawksworth, Bryan Herta Autosport Honda

Photo by: Covy Moore

Putting himself into a good position, however, starts with qualifying pace since Barber has one good passing zone into turn five. But, on track pace is only part of the equation of having a good race weekend.

“Passing is going to be hard out here so we need to start in the first couple of rows if we want to have a shot at winning the thing and then we need good pitstops, a good race and good race pace,” Hawksworth said.

After the disappointment at Long Beach, Hawksworth looks back at that weekend with a good bit of reflection.

“I’d much rather be in a position where we’re running at the front and we’re strong and we know that every time we hit the track, we have a shot at being right at the sharp end than sitting here with a few more points and struggling for pace.”

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About this article
Series INDYLIGHTS
Article type Special feature
Tags 2014, barber, hinchcliffe, indycar, indy lights, jack hawksworth, long beach, motorsports, passing