Hoggard keeping his name in the spotlight
Weston Hills motorsports prospect Johnathan Hoggard isn’t letting the COVID-19 pandemic stop his rise to the top.
Momentum in sport is always important, but even more so in motorsport where Hoggard had it in abundance after a thrilling 2019 campaign.
He was named Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year after a runners-up spot in his rooke British F3 Championship season.
But coronavirus restrictions and lockdown haven’t stopped Hoggard keeping his name in the spotlight as he has tried his hand at virtual racing to keep his skills sharp.
Hoggard claimed the BRDC Esports Championship, which also raised nearly £18,000 for the NHS, taking three victories from his opening four rounds.
The importance of beating established racers, such as Formula E Nissan e.dams driver, Oliver Rowland and Formula 2 race winner Callum Ilott, was not lost on Hoggard.
He said: “It was good exposure for me, especially as some of it was streamed on BT Sport.,
“We did it from April to around June and it kept my name in the spotlight.
“I beat some really good drivers and it was brilliant for me to keep my skills sharp.
“I won the BRDC Championship and I also won in the Porsche Carrera Virtual Cup, which was actually a mega achievement for me, especially as the prize for winning it was a chance to go ice drifting in Mongolia, which will allow me to learn a bit more about how to handle a car.
Hoggard, who celebrated his 20th birthday on Sunday, also got to complete his first Formula One test as part of his prize for winning the Young Driver of the Year Award.
He did the testing at the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in one of the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB8’s, which won the F1 constructors’ title and drivers’ crown with Sebastian Vettel in 2012.
“This was a great experience for me as well,” said Hoggard.
“I wasn’t going there just to take part and I wanted to do the best I know I can do.
“I would have regretted it if I just tried to do a good job so I wanted to do the best I could and I think I did quite well.
“The car had a lot more downforce than I was used to and it took a while to get used to.
“But as soon as I did, I started pumping in the lap times and it got better and better.”