British Indy Car ace Jack Hawksworth has said it's an honour to receive the series' rising star award after a head turning debut season for the Bryan Herta driver.

Hawksworth received the Tony Renna Rising Star Award following a 17th place finish in the standings after his first season competing in America's top line single seater championship.

The 23-year old achieved an astonishing maiden podium at the Grand Prix of Houston after resisting colossal pressure from former Indy Car champion and F1 star Juan Pablo Montoya to finish third, despite having to claw his way from 23rd on the grid.

Related Articles

"It was an honour to receive the Rising Star Award, particularly given how well-respected Tony was within the paddock," Hawksworth enthused. "It was nice to get the recognition for the effort that the BHA guys and myself have put in this year."

Hawksworth, however, before the season started was resigned to the fact he wouldn't be on the grid for 2014 after having seemingly failed to have secured a drive, but the young Brit impressed in a then one-off test for the Bryan Herta team, which ultimately led to an unlikely partnership in time for the beginning of the campaign.

As the Indy Car rookie points out, impressive as his opening season was, even more success could well have been on the cards had circumstances not worked against him in certain races - most notably when an untimed caution at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis lost him the race lead after initially snatching from starting second on the grid.

"It's been a hell of a ride - a real whirlwind!" he continued.

"We were very quick in qualifying at the beginning of the season but were unfortunately unable to convert that pace and potential into concrete race results - whether that was due to getting caught up in other drivers' accidents, not quite getting the strategy spot-on or just plain bad luck in terms of reliability.

"That led to a few missed opportunities which was obviously frustrating, but over the second half of the campaign, although we didn't have the same kind of one-lap speed in qualifying, we were much better at executing the races and fighting our way through the field - so it was something of a season of two halves. In the circumstances, I think we did a good job.

"I always believed I would be fast - if you don't think that, there's no point in even turning up - but IndyCar is a different world compared to anything I had done before."