Jack Hawksworth has been tipped to “show what he is truly capable of” in 2013 by former Formula One world champion John Surtees OBE.
The motorsport legend presented the gifted Bradford-born speed ace with the Henry Surtees Award at the prestigious British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Awards luncheon.
The star-studded gathering at the Grand Connaught Rooms in Central London was attended by a veritable who’s who of British motor racing, including Surtees, Sir Stirling Moss OBE, Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, Sir Frank Williams CBE, David Coulthard MBE, Christian Horner, Ross Brawn OBE, Murray Walker OBE and the club’s president-in-chief, HRH The Duke of Kent.
There was even a cameo appearance by two-time Olympic cycling gold medallist Ed Clancy MBE.
The ceremony is held annually to celebrate the most illustrious motor racing achievements of the year, and the Henry Surtees Award was introduced in 2009 after John’s 18-year-old son Henry was killed in a freak accident during an FIA Formula Two Championship meeting at Brands Hatch.
It is bestowed upon the driver deemed to have produced the most stand-out performance of any of the club’s BRDC Rising Stars.
Hawksworth was selected as the 2012 recipient of the accolade as a reward for his title-winning rookie campaign in the United States in the fiercely-contested Star Mazda Championship – during the course of which he stormed to eight victories with Team Pelfrey.
“It’s been a dream year, to be honest,” said Hawks-worth.
“I’ve been in the form of my life and I’ve had a great team behind me. I’ve been very fortunate to work with so many highly-skilled people.
“It was a risk going to America but it was a calculated risk. I was racing on the other side of the world, but that only makes it even more special to be noticed on this side of the world and it’s fantastic for that to be recognised with such a prestigious award. It really is the feather in the cap.”
As he prepares to accelerate his career up through the gears in 2013 with graduation into Indy Lights – Hawksworth, from Culling-worth, received a glowing tribute from Surtees, the only man ever to have clinched the coveted world championship crown on both two wheels and four.
“The decision to look to America was a brave one but also a sensible one,” said Surtees. “Jack was following in the footsteps of drivers like Dario Franchitti and the late Dan Wheldon, who had demonstrated exceptional potential but hadn’t been able to progress their careers here in the UK.
“It was very nice to see Jack’s success recognised by the BRDC, and honouring him with the Henry Surtees Award was something I fully supported and I was pleased to be able to present him with it personally.
“I am sure that we have not heard the last of Jack Hawksworth, and that with his ability, determination and the opportunity he now has in America, he will be able to show what he is truly capable of.”