Connect with us

WeatherTech Championship

Moto Accident Has Hawksworth “More Grateful” of Day Job

Jack Hawksworth on return to wheel of No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 after motocross accident…

Photo: Lexus Racing

Jack Hawksworth said the time laid up in recovery from a motocross accident has made him “more grateful” of his day job and will hopefully make him a better race car driver moving forward.

The Lexus factory driver is making his return to the wheel of the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 this weekend at Lime Rock Park after missing the last three IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races due to multiple injuries from a shunt that left him in the hospital for five days in May.

Hawksworth revealed that he sustained a burst fracture of his T12 vertebrae and a bimalleolar fracture of his right ankle, both of which required surgeries.

His rehab was hindered by the fact that he needed to rest his ankle while needing to keep mobility in his back to assist with the healing process.

“The first week was in hospital,” he told Sportscar365. “The next two weeks was really just about being disciplined and keeping my foot elevated and allowing that time to heal whilst the back is obviously healing as well.

“Once I came out of the cast, which was three weeks post-accident, I had a couple of days in England before I flew to America and from there I’ve done my rehab in Charlotte with the help of the people at TRD and Lexus. 

“I’ve been able to build up gradually. The first couple of weeks after I came out of the cast, I was non-weight bearing on the foot but I was doing a lot of stuff in the swimming pool and on the bike and light weights.

“I just kind of stepped up from there.

“I started to weight-bear five weeks after the accident and it’s just been about strengthening the ankle to make sure I’ve got movement back in the ankle so I can drive the car properly and try to build back some upper-body strength as well.

“Right now coming into this race, the last two weeks I’ve been on the simulator and that kind of stuff but at the same time I’ve been really able to start ramping up my training a bit.

“Other than running, I’m pretty much doing everything else.”

Hawksworth said he had a range of emotions when the accident first occurred.

“I’ve never had anything like that happen to be before,” he said. “Obviously first it was quite scary. Then it’s more of a shock’ then came the worry if you want to get back.

“I didn’t want to let the team down by not being able to race as well. You obviously have a bit of guilt there.

“The team and Lexus have been very supportive of getting me back to [full] fitness and everything.

“In terms of my perspective, if anything, it makes me appreciate a little bit more of what I get to do in terms of… It’s a lot of fun to come racing. It’s a great job. 

“I have a great team of people that I enjoy doing it with. If anything, it made me a bit more grateful for the opportunities I’ve had.

“There are obviously lessons to be learned from this going forward in terms of making sure it doesn’t happen again. 

“Hopefully this experience will make me a better racing driver and good things will come from this.”

While having hoped to return to action during last month’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, the 31-year-old Briton didn’t receive the all-clear from his doctors until after the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park weekend.

“My target in my head at the time when the accident happened was to try to get back for the next GTD Pro round [at Watkins Glen],” he said.

“At the time of the Detroit race I was very banged up. The guys did an amazing job and it was a great result [to win in GTD]. I would have loved to have been there and been a part of that but it was what it was.

“We’re here now. We had a solid result at Watkins Glen and a little bit of bad luck at Mosport but I think the team’s in a good spot. I’m just excited to be back.”

Hawksworth turned his first laps back in the Lexus during Friday’s opening practice session the for FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix, setting the third quickest time overall and second in GTD Pro.

“It was nice to be back at a race track, full stop,” he said. “Getting in the car was great again; it was good fun to be out there and to be working with the team closely at the track again.

“It felt fast, to be honest. I obviously haven’t driven for a while. Lime Rock is a narrow circuit and the lap times are obviously very quick.

“It felt a little bit fast for the first few laps. But once I got going, I felt OK. The body feels good so excited about the weekend now.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

Click to comment

More in WeatherTech Championship