The 23-year-old driver tested with BHA at Sebring in February. The strength of his pace and feedback, combined with proven success in every junior category in which he has competed, made him a surprise contender for one of the last remaining seats in the IndyCar Championship.
Hawksworth started racing karts at the age of 13 and won the national Gold Cup competition in only his sixth karting race. He continued racing successfully in karts until 2010, when he moved into open wheel racing in the highly-competitive Formula Renault U.K. Winter Series. There, he earned the pole position in every round of the championship, finished third in the championship and was the highest-placed rookie.
In 2011, Hawksworth moved to the United States. The Bradford, West Yorkshire native has been working his way up the Mazda Road to Indy. He dominated in the 2012 Star Mazda Series, breaking the record for most wins, poles and fastest laps in a season. Last year, Hawksworth competed in the Firestone Indy Lights Series, winning three races and finishing fourth in the championship.
Now, he’s ready to compete in the pinnacle of American open wheel racing, joining the IndyCar Series field in the No. 98 BHA/BBM Dallara.
“I am absolutely delighted to be racing for Bryan Herta Autosport in the 2014 IndyCar Series,” said Hawksworth. “It has been a dream of mine for many years and I can’t wait to get started.”
“We had a great first test in Sebring that has given us a solid foundation on which to build our campaign. There’s a lot of talent and potential in the No. 98 team. I feel very fortunate to be a part of it and look forward to an exciting year ahead. I have to say a big thank you to Bryan, Steve, the team and everyone involved for putting their trust in me! I can’t wait to get to work!”
Team co-owner Bryan Herta added, “Quite frankly, Jack really impressed us with a very strong test in Sebring last month. He has had success at every level he has competed in to date and we believe he has the skills to maintain that going into the IndyCar series. Jack is well aware of the level of competition he is stepping into and we look forward to the season ahead.”
The 2014 IndyCar season opens on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida in just over four weeks. The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will take place on Sunday, March 30 at 4 p.m. ET. Fans can catch all the action on the live ABC broadcast or on Sirius/XM channel 211.