After a successful run in Junior Rotax,
what made you decide that moving to KZ2 was the right move for you?
'I wanted something new and interesting and more
than anything else a big challenge. This meant KZ2 was my preferred
Hawksworth getting to grips with a KZ2
in Early 2007
Last year you concentrated on the National
Scene, but this year you appear to be focusing more on Europe. How
have you found the step up to Europe in terms of competition?
'Last year was spent at national level mainly as
it was my first year in the class and I would have got mugged in
Europe! For sure the competition is far superior to that in the
UK which means the rate you work and train has to be increased massively
if you are to run at the front in Europe. I’m glad I did the
first year at national level though as the competition is still
tough and it prepares you well for what is in store on the next
In Junior MAX you have gone from low power,
and rear brakes, to full on power and 4 wheel brakes in KZ. What
specific driving techniques did you have to adopt to maximize your
performance in the KZ classes.
'KZ requires an extremely different driving style
to any other class in karting. The way you apply the throttle and
break is the main difference with gearbox driving. In KF or Rotax
you have to roll the kart round the corner as quick as possible
in order to not lose momentum and the all important RPM, whilst
in gearbox it is all about how quick you can get down the gears
and how quickly you can feed your throttle in. Its more of a point
and squirt technique.'
Hawksworth grabbed a top ten place in KZ2
WSK Round 2 Angerville
125cc Gearbox racing in recent years has
gone through quite a dramatic image change in the UK. It has never
been one of the most fashionable classes. However with it's image
changing and coming more inline with the European scene, how do
you see the future of KZ racing in the UK, and where you think it
'I think the futures bright. KZ offers drivers
a real chance to actually drive a kart! It demands real skill and
fitness and offers the highest level of competition in the UK. For
sure the class is starting to grow more popular and grids at club
level are increasing.
To improve the class I believe KZ1
needs to be running with Super
1 alongside KF1 where it should be. I also struggle to see why
KZ1 or KZ2 for that matter can’t race at P.F.I. It is the
home of karting in the UK and for 125 racing to grow it needs to
be showcased at this circuit.'
You had a stint in the first few rounds
of the UK Winter Series in KF1. What led you to your decision to
stop competing in the class?
'A couple of reasons. The first being that it was
impossible to concentrate properly on both KF and KZ. The second
being I much prefer driving the KZ kart to the KF1 kart and third
that KF1 seems to revolve around the engines and carburetor settings
rather than kart set-up and driver ability.'
Hawksworth racing KF1 at the KF Winter
The WSK Series. Up against the likes of
Thonon, and Ardigo
you established yourself as a front runner! What was it like stepping
up to the standard of these guys, and what did you learn in terms
of your driving that you had to improve to keep up with this crew.
'These guys are fast and to be honest there isn’t
one particular ingredient to keeping up with these geezers. Just
keep going round and round and eventually you become fast enough.
Another major factor is fitness if your not fit enough then you
might as well forget turning up because once the arms start slipping
down the steering wheel you wont stand a chance. Keeping up with
the crew is one thing, racing them is another you have to be prepared
for rough and shove because they don’t take prisoners!'
The UK drivers have never made a huge impact
in the gearbox scene in recent years. How have you been welcomed
into the European scene?
'Rather rudely I think it involved some one running
into the back of me in the first heat.'
In regards to fitness, what regime do you
put yourself through to compete in Europe this year? And what effects
has that had on your driving?
Jack has also competed on long circuits.
Above - Cadwell Park
'I try to train at least three times a week whether
it be running, cycling or gym work. Being fit is such a big part
of European racing in this class. When you’re not fit enough
you can lose valuable tenths at the end of the race and your concentration
can wonder as you begin to make mistakes. I think the phrase is
fit in body fit in mind. '
Are you planning to make a move to cars
in the near future, or do you see yourself staying to compete in
kart racing to maximize the learning experience?
'No plans to move into cars. I enjoy racing karts
and competing to try be the best. I am learning everytime I hit
the track and hope to learn as much as I can off the top drivers
like Ardigo so that eventually I can beat them. I want to win a
Major International championship in KZ.'
Alan Dove 04/2008
Hawksworth's Official Website