MB Motorsport development driver Esmee Hawkey will get her first taste of a British Touring Car Championship car this week, when she gets behind the wheel of the team’s Honda Civic at Snetterton.
Hawkey will drive the car as part of the series’ official Goodyear tyre test at the Norfolk circuit, working alongside regular race drivers Jake Hill and Sam Osborne.
Hawkey, 22, moves into the new role for 2020 after having taken part in the BTCC-supporting Porsche Carrera Cup GB in 2019, where she claimed three class wins in the Pro-Am category.
The Kent-based racer also took part in the inaugural W Series single-seater championship exclusively for female racers last year, where she finished 15th overall in the drivers’ standings.
In 2020, Hawkey will continue in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB whilst also working with MB Motorsport in the BTCC.
“I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the Honda Civic Type R,” said Hawkey. “It’ll be my first time in a FWD car so there’s a lot of learning to do but I’m up for the challenge and look forward to working with the team and broadening my experiences.
“It’s been a strange year with everything that’s happened so it’s great to finally get back out on track, although I didn’t think my first running since March would be in a touring car!
“It is going to be a very busy second half of the year but I can’t wait to get it underway!
“I love racing, regardless of what I’m driving. If the chance to drive something presents itself, then I’ll jump at it.
“As a driver, it’s important for me to experience as much as I possibly can, whether it was early in my career in karting or more recently.
“Every new experience you get behind the wheel helps you grow as a driver and that is exactly what I am looking to do.”
Hawkey is hoping to use her affiliation with MB Motorsport, spearheaded by former Grand Prix racer Mark Blundell, to continue to raiser her profile in motorsport.
“The idea of being the only female racer on a grid has never phased me. I’ve never felt out of place by it or like I don’t belong.
“We’re all one big family, we all look out for each other and we all have a place here regardless of what you look like or where you come from.
“To work with the team, the management and the drivers at MB Motorsport is great for me and the chance to get behind the wheel and to gain a new experience is going to be fantastic.
“But more than that, I want to get to the highest level possible in my career and understanding the operations of a team in the UK’s highest-profile championship and to work with them to grow myself as a racing driver off-the-track is equally as important as the results you can deliver on it.
“Tuesday at Snetterton will be about me surrounding myself in the team operation, working with the engineering team and the drivers across the day to get the best feel for it that I can.
“Then Wednesday will be my turn to get behind the wheel and to gain my first BTCC experience but my first FWD experience as well!”