OF LET’S GO KARTING INITIATIVE Karting star Jessica Hawkins was invited to be at the forefront of the launch for the Motor Sports Association’s (MSA) brand new ‘Let’s Go Karting’ initiative last week during a special unveiling of the scheme at the renowned Buckmore Park track in Kent.The 13-year-old, who attends school in Haslemere, Surrey, is widely regarded as one of the most talented and exciting prospects on the UK karting scene and, as such, was invited to be part of the event in recognition of her outstanding 2007 achievements. She was then selected to be interviewed by Tony Jardine for a televised press conference.Becoming the Super 1 Dunlop Honda Cadet National Karting Vice-Champion last year, Jessica went on to win the Buckmore Park Club Honda Cadet title. Challenging for honours once again in Honda Cadet this year, the Zip Young Guns All Star has quickly become established as the country’s most promising young female racer. The idea behind Let’s Go Karting is to promote the accessibility of the first rung on the motor racing ladder and to give children the country over a chance to participate in karting action for as little as £5. Open to youngsters between eight and 16 years of age, the initiative is part of the MSA’s wider ‘Go Motorsport’ programme.Throughout the course of last week’s event, Jessica had the opportunity to meet McLaren F1 Team test driver Gary Paffett, 2008 Le Mans 24 Hour Race GT1 Class Winner David Brabham, principal of the Honda Racing F1 Team, Ross Brawn, and legendary Formula One and World Motorcycling Champion John Surtees OBE. Speaking at the high-profile launch of Let’s Go Karting, Jessica said: “Karting is brilliant fun. You get a huge thrill from the speed but it’s not just the racing which is good, it’s the friends you get to make while doing karting. Watching Lewis Hamilton has made me want to be involved in motor racing even more when I grow up and karting is easily the best way for me to achieve this. I think all kids should give it a go.”After an unlucky first half of the 2008 Super 1 Dunlop Honda Cadet National season, Jessica has still managed to accrue enough points to be fourth in the standings and is expecting a major improvement in her results ahead of the next race in September.In between her racing and schooling commitments, Jessica has been enjoying some excellent television coverage of late including a special feature filmed at Shenington near Banbury for the ITV Thames Valley early evening news. She has also been filmed for an upcoming edition of the Children’s BBC programme ‘Beat The Boss’.The fifth meeting of the Super 1 Dunlop Honda Cadet National Championship – which will actually be the fourth points scoring event of the season due to the abandonment of the opening round of the year at Ellough Park in Suffolk due to adverse weather – will take place at Clay Pigeon in Dorset on 27th/28th September.The week prior to the Clay Pigeon race meeting, Jessica will take part in the prestigious ABkC Cadet ‘O’ Plate event at Buckmore Park on 20th/21st September. This particular race will be screened on Sky Sports. Further televised action will then come over the weekend 25th/26th October at Rye House in Hertfordshire for the London Cup meeting which will be shown on digital satellite and cable channel Motors TV.
With a lengthy three month break before the main Super 1 series resumes Jessica will, in the meantime, contest selected club events. The first will be at Clay Pigeon on Sunday, 13th July, and a week later she will be in action at Buckmore Park.