Young karting star Esmee Hawkey has agreed a deal that will see her move into the Ginetta Junior Championship later this season as part of an agreement to become a Junior Driver with British Touring Car Championship outfit AmDTuning.com.
The 16-year-old from Chislehurst in Kent will take part in all Ginetta Junior Championship test sessions during the course of the year with a view to racing in the last three rounds of 2014 at Rockingham, Silverstone and Brands Hatch, as well as the Winter Series.
Esmee will then graduate into car racing full-time in 2015 with a season-long campaign in the Junior series at the wheel of a Ginetta G40, which will be prepared and run from AmDTuning.com’s West Thurrock base.
As part of her deal, Esmee will take up an active role with AmDTuning.com's BTCC team throughout the coming season, spending time at its West Thurrock workshop, taking part in team debriefs during race weekends and playing her part in team photoshoots and autograph sessions.
In a huge move for an aspiring young racer, Esmee will also be given the opportunity to test AmDTuning.com's new Ford Focus - to be raced this season by two-time BTCC race winner Dave Newsham - at the end of the year.
“I’m really looking forward to competing in the Ginetta Junior Championship this season with AmDTuning.com,” Esmee, who was a finalist in Ginetta’s Junior Scholarship last year, said. “It’s great for me to be signed up as their Junior Driver and I’m hoping to learn a lot from working with the team in testing before my first race. It’s also brilliant for me to know that I’ll get the chance to drive the new touring car at the end of the season – I can’t wait!”
Announcing the addition of Esmee to the AmDTuning.com line-up for 2014, team boss Shaun Hollamby said he was excited to see what the youngster can achieve in her new role.
"We have shown our support for young drivers in the past and in Esmee, we see someone who has the potential to go a long way,” he said. “Her performance in the Ginetta Junior Scholarship was hugely impressive given her lack of experience, and with the programme we have put together for this season, she'll be able to build her knowledge base ready for the time when she gets behind the wheel of the car in competition for the first time.
“I'm delighted to bring Esmee onboard as our Junior Driver and hope this is the first step on a long and fruitful relationship."
Prior to her planned race outings in the Ginetta, and mindful of the importance of her GCSE exams this year, Esmee will continue to compete in the Easykart Championship; culminating in the World Finals in Italy in September.
She will then become the first Junior Easykart driver to make the move into the Ginetta Junior series.
"It's fantastic to see Esmee joining the Ginetta Junior grid for 2014,” Easykart UK boss Andy Cox said. “Thanks to our strong partnership with Ginetta, Esmee will be our first Junior Easykart driver to make the progression into the Ginetta Junior Championship.
“Esmee is proof that the Easykart and Ginetta collaboration works and illustrates that the Easykart UK Championship, and our cost controlled, but competitive environment, does indeed prepare young drivers to a high level ready for car racing.”