Stateside rookie Hawksworth confident of ‘strong season’ in Star Mazda

As he builds up towards his maiden campaign of competition across the other side of the Pond in the US-based Star Mazda Championship in 2012, talented young Bradford single-seater ace Jack Hawksworth is bullish about his prospects of success – and palpably champing at the bit to show what he can do.Following an impressive rookie car racing season in 2011 in the fiercely-contested Formula Renault UK Championship – yielding a victory and three further podium finishes en route to fourth spot in the final points table – Jack has steered his career Stateside by agreeing terms to compete for Team Pelfrey in Star Mazda, the second step on the ‘Mazda Road to Indy’ that aims to propel its protagonists right the way to the pinnacle of the IndyCar Series, America’s very own Formula 1.The highly-rated Cullingworth-born speed demon has relocated to Florida to be closer to his new team, and now that winter testing is underway in earnest, he admits that he has swiftly settled into his new surroundings and cannot wait to take to the track alongside his rivals to prove his credentials.“I’m enjoying the Florida lifestyle and working with the team,” he enthuses, “and now I’m eager to get back into the car for the start of the season. I feel like I have prepared really well on a personal level, and I know the team has prepared my equipment to the very highest standard.”The 2012 Star Mazda calendar will take in races around such legendary North American circuits as Road Atlanta, Laguna Seca – and its fearsome ‘Corkscrew’ – and Canada’s celebrated Trois-Rivières, and Jack can scarcely contain his enthusiasm.“The schedule looks great,” acknowledges the 20-year-old BRDC Rising Star and TORGOEN Swiss brand ambassador. “I’m really looking forward to the street circuits, especially the first round at St. Petersburg at the end of March; that’s where I’m based, and having seen some footage from last year’s race there, it looks like a hell of a lot of fun! To be honest, though, I’m excited about all of them – there’s a great mix of street, road and oval courses which will keep everyone on their toes throughout.“As for expectations, we know we’re going to have a good race car and we’ve prepared as well as we possibly can, so with the experience I now have with a year in car racing under my belt, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to put a strong season together.”