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Hawksworth cleared to race at Iowa

Jack Hawksworth has received medical clearance to return to racing duties after his hard practice in practice at Pocono on Saturday.
Britain's Jack Hawskworth will be able to return to racing duty this weekend at Iowa Speedway, following his overnight stay in hospital last weekend after a heavy crash in practice at Pocono Raceway.

The Verizon IndyCar Series announced late on Tuesday that medical director Dr Michael Olinger had reevaluated the 23-year-old from Bradford and determined that he was fit to step back into the cockpit of the #98 Bryan Herta Autosport car.

"Looking forward to Iowa this weekend and putting Pocono firmly behind me!" said Hawksworth in a team statement from BHA. "I've run well at Iowa in the past and it's a track I really enjoy. We'll aim to get back on track with a strong finish heading into the final stretch of the season!"

Hawksworth had been diagnosed with a myocardial contusion suffered when he crashed in turn 1 halfway through the second practice at Pocono on Saturday afternoon. Subsequent reports stated that Hawksworth had been subjected to forces of 100G during the rapid deceleration caused by the impact.

An initial evaluation at the in-field care centre only identified a bruised left knee and Hawksworth had initially been confident of taking part in Sunday's Pocono 500. However the driver subsequently reported feeling unwell and as a precaution was taken to the nearby Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pennsylvania for further tests and evaluation, which found the bruised heart muscle.

Hawksworth missed the race and was kept in hospital overnight, and was only finally discharged late on Sunday afternoon. A follow-up evaluation by Dr Olinger was required before Hawksworth would be allowed to resume racing activities in time for Saturday night's Iowa event.

In the meantime, BHA has been busy building up a new car for Hawksworth, after it was reported that the one that crashed in Pocono had been left with a fractured monocoque. However the team is confident of having the replacement ready in time for this weekend's race.

"Not one to shy away from a challenge and neither are the BHA team. We'll come back at Iowa and give it all we have!" Hawksworth said on Twitter. "Thanks to everybody for their wishes and the medical team that looked after me. I'm sore but feeling better!"

Hawksworth had previously crashed during practice for the Indianapolis 500 in May, but he admitted to reporters on Saturday that his latest crash at Pocono had been "a much harder hit."

"I went into 1 and I'd been pushing and understeering through there and went in there this time and just got loose and went into the wall," he said immediately after the incident. "It happened very quickly and just snapped. I went in there quickly and it hit the wall.

"We'd been understeering in turn 1 during the whole session and there's a tail wind going into there so we'd been pushing a lot," he continued. "We just put tyres on and went into 1 and picked up a big oversteer instead of the understeer and it took us out and I went into the wall. If I thought I was going to stick it into the wall, I would have thought it would be on turn 3, but it was turn 1."

After missing last weekend's double points event, Hawksworth has dropped to 16th place in the current Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings.



Related Pictures

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Jack Hawksworth and Marco Andretti cross the start/finish line during practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay and Jack Hawksworth (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth in his car (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth at IMS (Photo by: Dan Boyd for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
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