Double Thruxton podium success for Hillspeed’s emerging talent

Jake Cook
Jake Cook

Young Hillspeed driver Jake Cook maintained second place in the Protyre Formula Renault Championship with two top three finishes at Thruxton.

He came good in rounds seven and eight on Sunday in the third race meeting of the 2013 season.

It was a tale of two days for Cook who was forced to retire on Saturday from round six with damage following a clash at the chicane with Malaysian driver Weiron Tan.

But Cook bounced back brilliantly in the two remaining encounters the following day for the Hathersage team.

Qualifying second on the grid for all three Thruxton races, only just missing out on pole position for round seven by a mere 0.002 seconds, the first year racer was competitive throughout the weekend.

Although slipping back to sixth at the start of round seven on Sunday morning, Cook mounted a good recovery and got back into the top four prior to the emergence of the Safety Car on lap seven. At the re-start, the Hillspeed driver maintained position before taking third at the end of the ninth tour and then moving into second at the complex on lap ten.

Unfortunately though, a small mistake under braking into the chicane proved costly and dropped him back to fourth. Retaking third on lap 11 prior to a second Safety Car period, Cook held third for the final three lap sprint and although slipping to fourth once again he got third back on the last lap.

In round eight, the Yorkshire driver was in contention for the lead early on and initially produced fastest lap pace as he sought a way past championship leader Chris Middlehurst.

Running within just 0.3 seconds of the leader, Cook worked hard to also see off the threat of Tan and Ivan Taranov and the tight battle over second enabled Middlehurst to pull clear from mid-distance.

Maintaining the runner-up spot despite immense pressure, Cook looked to have his third second place of the season sewn-up but a bold move by Tan around the outside at Noble on the final lap elbowed the Hillspeed driver to a nonetheless excellent third place.