13/05/13: In only his second race weekend in a brand new series, South Yorkshire based racing star Jake Cook is hot on the heels on the championship regulars. After graduating to the competitive Protyre Formula Renault Championship for 2013, Jake is beginning to stake his claim to the front of the grid.
Racing at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk last weekend (11th-12th May), Jake enjoyed a strong weekend to elevate him to second in the overall championship standings.
With three races in the offing, Jake faced two separate qualifying sessions. A damp start to qualifying one made things interesting, however after battling a fuel tank issue Jake could only manage five laps. As others benefited from the drying track, Jake was left in 8th place.
More rain found its way to Snetterton moments before the start of race one, to give Jake his first taste of a Formula Renault car in the wet. Wasting no time, the youngster had moved up three places by the time he rounded the second corner, and was on a charge. By the eighth lap he was riding the rear wing of the race leader, looking for a way through. However, unable to pass and keen not to succumb to the tricky conditions, Jake stayed second.
Another good start in race two saw Jake jump up to fifth again almost immediately. As others surrendered to the conditions, Jake launched an attack, setting five consecutive fastest laps. Whilst battling a slippery track and understeer, Jake made his way to third place; however as the end neared he was forced to simmer his pace to look after his tyres.
The third and final race was marred by chaos, with the safety car setting the pace for most of the outing. As other drivers struggled against the conditions, Jake once again held on to score an impressive second place finish.
“It was definitely a better weekend,” said Jake. “The rain made it very tricky but I was able to avoid any incidents and hold on for three great results.
“The Formula Renault seems to suit my driving style very well, and the team have been great since joining the championship. Now I’m second in the championship and we still have 11 races to go, so it’s going to be an interesting season,” he continued.
Jake’s next round takes place at the Thruxton circuit in Hampshire on 1st-2nd June. This third round will strike right in the middle of Newcastle University student Jake’s exams, which will definitely keep things interesting for him.
Words: Leanne Fahy
Image Credit: Daniel-James Smith
21/02/13: As we head towards the start of another new motor racing season, Yorkshire-based racing star Jake Cook is pleased to announce his plans for 2013. After a switch from the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship, Jake will contest the highly competitive Formula Renault BARC single-seater championship.
Another pathway towards the ultimate goal of Formula One, Formula Renault BARC is the ideal progression for Jake and his racing career. Together with the Hillspeed Racing team, Jake hopes to continue his aim of securing race wins in 2013.
“We found out about this deal just last week. After looking over our options for the coming season this was the ideal opportunity, and Hillspeed made an offer impossible to refuse,” said Jake.
Headed by Team Principal Richard Ollerenshaw, Hillspeed Racing have vast experience to support their bid for glory, having won the Formula Renault BARC Championship title in 2010. Now with a two-car assault for 2013, Jake is hoping he can help the team regain championship honours.
“I’m really looking forward to the start of the season. We start our testing programme next Tuesday (26th) at Donington Park (Leicestershire), and I’m very keen to get back in the cockpit,” added Jake.
The first round takes place at Donington Park on 13th-14th April. With the Formula Renault BARC calendar expanding to 16 rounds in 2013 it is sure to be an exciting season for the Yorkshire youngster.
11/06/12: More podium appearances enabled Jake Cook to reinforce his title bid at Rockingham during the weekend of 9th-10th June, after rounds 7, 8 and 9 of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain.
Wet weather on Friday made the start of the weekend rather eventful, however Jake banked some track time ahead of the next three races. A struggle with the top speed for the Jamun Racing driver in each race forced Jake to battle against the odds as he made his way forward.
Sadly, the issues got the better of his single-seater during race one on Saturday, when he was obligated to abdicate second place due to an electrical problem.
In a bid to make up for race one’s non-finish, Jake was keen to make amends in race two. A third place start saw Jake bide his time in the early stages, before a lunge for second place worked in his favour.
In a comfortable second place, Jake soon set his sights on catching the race leader, as he stormed towards him by way of multiple fastest laps. “I caught Antti towards the end of the race, but I had to drop back in the last few laps and I didn’t really get a chance to pass him.”
Race three gave Jake a fourth place start, however a speedy getaway meant the youngster was third by the time he reached the Deene Hairpin.
With success on his mind, Jake mounted a challenge towards the top two. As others succumbed to the track pressures, the release of the safety car bunched up the pack, giving the Yorkshire ace a chance at challenging for honours.
As the top two dropped into his clutches, Jake was presented with a welcome second place when Eric Lichtenstein suddenly slowed and pulled off the track. “Eric broke down in the same place I did (on Saturday) and just slowed, so I had to slam on to avoid him and that dropped me way back,” said Jake.
As time ran out, Jake held onto second place, to score another strong podium finish, and strengthen his title bid in the process. Jake is still second in the championship standings, with the next round just two weeks away.
The Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit is the scene of the next three races for the Formula Ford boys during the 23rd-24thJune.
Looking ahead to Brands Hatch, Jake said: “I like Brands Hatch. We don’t do any testing on the longer track so it will be a bit difficult. We need a few wins next time out really, to qualify better as well and get a couple of pole positions, and go from there really because it’s been hard playing catch up all the time. But we’re getting there.”
21/05/12: The second round of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain saw youngster Jake Cook score more valuable points towards the 2012 championship title race.
Between 18th-20th May, Jake set up camp at Brands Hatch in Kent, for the fourth, fifth and sixth races of the season. After qualifying on day one, a struggle with car set-up meant Jake started fifth.
Race one soon came his way, and eager for a strong result, the Yorkshire racing ace powered his way through the pack. A rain shower before the single-seaters hit the track meant race one would be run in tricky conditions, whilst also being shortened to a 10 minute dash due to track curfew.
A difficult getaway saw Jake drop to seventh place, however an opening lap surge saw him reach fifth in no time. From here, a series of continuous fast laps saw Jake storm through the field to third place. On the tail of the leaders he narrowly missed out on moving further up the pack as the chequered flag fell.
“After the start I had I was happy enough, and it was a fun race, I passed a few cars and I was very quick in those conditions. I would've won had it not been for the start,” said Jake.
Another fifth place start for race two saw Jake overcome understeer issues. After trailing one of his rivals for the first 10 laps, he managed to find a way through, as he set about chasing down the top three. Jake soon moved up to third place in the wake of a mistake from a driver ahead. However, despite catching the front runners at half a second a lap the flag fell on Jake in third place.
Jake said: “Again qualifying cost me because I had the pace to win, I just got held up at the start of the race.”
Before long the final race was upon us and Jake lined up in fourth place. A speedy start launched the Jamun Racing pilot up to second place on the opening tour, as engine problems reared their head.
Jake was soon on course for a battle for the lead, however as he headed into Graham Hill Bend (turn three), oil on the track meant Jake was forced to immediately slow down. As he did, the driver behind caught the oil and hit the back of Jake’s car.
Able to carry on his pursuit, Jake only lost one position with the clash. However, the engine problems quickly became terminal and forced Jake into the pits. After some attention from the team, Jake returned to the track to secure some points towards his title surge.
Although slightly deflated after the end result, Jake remained positive for the remainder of the season. “It was very disappointing because I knew I had the pace to win but mechanical problems happen. I’m still second in the championship and there are plenty of races left to close the gap.”
Jake’s next three races take place over the 9th-10th June, at Rockingham in Northamptonshire.
Words: Leanne Fahy
15/05/12: On the back of his opening round success in the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain, Jake Cook is pleased to announce a new partnership with Kennett watches.
Jake will be acting as ambassador for the Kennett name, as he strives to continue his strong start to his 2012 campaign. “It’s fantastic to get involved with the Kennett Brand. To be an ambassador is a role I’m honoured to fulfil,” Jake said.
Speaking on behalf of this new partnership, Tom Kennett, founder of the Kennett brand said: “Everything Jake does is of the highest quality, both on and off the track. He's made a great start to the Formula Ford Championship and we are hopeful he will still be at the top of the pile come the end of the season".
“He carries himself well with the media and shares Kennett's commitment to precision and accuracy in his driving, making him a great ambassador for the brand. We wish him the best of luck for the season and hope to play a big part in realising his Formula One dream," he added.
Jake heads to Brands Hatch this weekend for round 2 of the British Formula Ford championship where the series will support the DTM German touring cars in front of a bumper crowd.
10/04/12: Jake made the ideal start to his 2012 Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain campaign this weekend, with a win and two other podium finishes at Oulton Park in Cheshire.
As Jake took to the track for qualifying he was met by three strong starting positions. Despite difficulties during the session, the Jamun Racing ace would line up on the grid fourth, fourth and third, respectively.
“Qualifying wasn’t great, we were struggling with the set-up of the car,” explained Jake. “The first race was just damage limitation for me really. The first half of it was really good, and then I just dropped back as my rear tyres went off,” he added.
After a strong second place finish in the season opener on Saturday, a wet day welcomed Jake back to the track on Monday (9th April). A fourth place start for the first of today’s two races saw a feisty getaway leave him in second place after the opening tour.
From here he went from strength to strength, as he slipped passed his chief challenger for the lead. After stretching out a seven second advantage, Jake’s lead was soon devoured by the appearance of the Safety Car.
As the race got underway once more the pressure was on for the Jamun Racing pilot to navigate his way towards success. Although his nearest rival kept him in his sights, Jake had built enough of a cushion to storm towards his first win of the season.
Just one more race was left to run, and as the rain continued to fall it was a wet race once again. This time starting from third place Jake made another sound getaway, as he set about chasing pole man Antti Buri for the top spot.
Determined as ever to score another enviable triumph, Jake laid in second place, as he waited for the opportune moment to pounce. However as others faltered around him, it was another strong podium finish that came his way, in what was an immensely successful start to a brand new season.
“It’s been a good weekend. Just to get another podium is good. It would have been nice to get a win in the final race as well, but I’m happy with the weekend,” Jake concluded.
Jake is now joint top of the British Formula Ford championship placings tied with JTR's Antti Buri.
Words by Leanne Fahy
30/03/12: Just one week before the start of a brand new season, Jake Cook is keen to get back to his competitive ways. Again contesting the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain, Jake is launching an attack with the highly prestigious Jamun Racing outfit in 2012.
The Easter weekend will see Jake fire up his engine for round one, as the field make their way to Oulton Park in Cheshire. Jake is hoping for some positive results from this opening round, as he prepares to settle into his championship campaign.
“I want to start the season well,” said Jake. “Pole in qualifying would be the best start and wins and the championship are what I’m aiming for this year. Anything less would be slightly disappointing.”
Looking ahead to the trio of races Jake added: “I want three good finishes though. Of course it would be great if those strong finishes were wins, but a good collection of points will be a solid start. Given our testing pace it is definitely a realistic goal.”
The weekend will start with a series of test sessions on Friday 6th April, with qualifying kicking off the first of the competitive action on Saturday. The three races will then be split, with one race Saturday afternoon and two races during Monday 9th April.
As well as his racing campaign, Jake will be supporting multiple charities this year. The Children’s Hospital Charity and Drive it Home, the Road Safety Charity will steal some of his attention.
“Obviously my racing career is my main focus, but being given the opportunity to support these charities is also a great opportunity, “Jake said. “I’d also like to thank my sponsors Broadsword Printers, Daily Poppins Cleaners, Brailsford Printers and Wasteney’s Butchers for their support of me so far.”
Words by Leanne Fahy
14/03/12: Jake took to the airwaves yesterday, when he was interviewed on Dean Pepall's drive time show on BBC Radio Sheffield.
You can listen to his interview here. It is around 20 minutes into the show.
07/12/11: Jake is pleased to announce that he will be returning to the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain in 2012 with top team, Jamun Racing. He will race in the brand new EcoBoost car that will bring a fresh look to the series in 2012 and hopes to challenge for the 2012 title. Speaking at the championship annual sampler day at Silverstone he said:
“I’ve agreed to do the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain again with Jamun Racing. We weighed up what options we had, what budget we had together, and we’re lucky we’ve had a couple of backers who have come in to help us for 2012 but we’re still looking for more. It always helps to have a bit of back up if anything goes wrong, so I’m still working everyday to try and get a bit more,” said Jake.
“I really enjoyed working with the team last year, they’re professional in everything they do, they’ve got really good driver coaching, and they really look after you. Jamun are a really professional outfit and have won the championship seven years in a row so they’re the best team in the championship and you want to try and race with the best team. Obviously I wanted to drive with them again. It’s great to get everything signed in December ahead of next season,” he added.
Jamun Racing owns an enviable record amongst the British Formula Ford ranks, winning the last 7 championship titles, so when the opportunity arose to join them once again Jake didn’t hesitate. “When we decided that we were going to do Formula Ford, especially when we heard about the new car, we thought it was quite exciting. We thought Formula Ford was the best option, and once we decided that we didn’t think of talking to anybody but Jamun Racing,” Jake said.
The new Formula Ford EcoBoost car marks a big step forward in technology for the series, not just with the cars striking looks but the introduction of a new 1.6litre turbo-charged engine, 6-speed sequential gearbox and FIA crash test standards.
Jake got his hands on the new car for the first time at the Formula Ford sampler day at Silverstone and enjoyed some early preparation for 2012. The Sampler Day has been running for a number of years now, and it enables young racing drivers to try a Formula Ford single-seater before committing to a full season. Commenting on the day Jake said: “The first sampler day I did was in 2009, which was also the first time I tested a Formula Ford."
“I think it’s a good way for young drivers to get a taste of the car. Friday was the first time I had driven the new car, so it was good for me to get some seat time in the car before we start testing properly,” he continued.
Now with his plans for next season comfortably sorted Jake is switching his attention to a slightly different role. This time last year Jake became the first winner of the MSA Young Driver of the Year award, which was a welcome addition to his racing CV. Now a year later he is returning to the competition in the coming weeks to act as a judge for those wishing to follow in his footsteps.
07/12/11: In this video filmed at the Formula Ford sampler day at Silverstone, Jake talks about his plans for 2012, the new EcoBoost car and the Formula Ford championship.
03/12/11: Jake was testing at Silverstone yesterday at the annual British Formula Ford sampler day. He took to the Stowe circuit in the new Formula Ford EcoBoost car, which will be on the grid from 2012. It is a huge leap forward for the series with its striking look, turbo-powered engine and sequential gearbox. He was pleased with how his first outing in the car went: 'It was great to be back in a car after a bit of a break, the new car is great and has so much grip. I can't wait to do some more testing in it'
Keep checking back to Jake's website for some exciting news for 2012....
20/09/11: Welcome to the new-look website of Jake Cook. Here you will find all the very latest news, photos, and information on the 2010 MSA Young Driver of the Year.
You can also follow Jake on Twitter by following the link to the left of each page. At the top of the page you will find links to more background information about Jake and his blog.
Jake has elected to miss the last rounds of the British Formula Ford championship to concentrate on his plans for the 2012 season. We will be announcing news about this soon. Be sure to check back to the site to find out more.
27/04/11: Oulton Park in Cheshire was the scene for round two of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain. Sheffield racer Jake Cook was ready for the outing, however a mighty accident saw him post an enviable comeback drive.
The Easter weekend event began with qualifying on Saturday morning. After holding the third fastest time for much of the session, Jake was on for his best start of the season so far, until his single-seater race car was sent tumbling through the air.
Caught out on the banked Shell Hairpin towards the far end of the circuit, Jake was left upside down in the cockpit, until marshals rushed to his rescue. After escaping from what was left of his Formula Ford, Jake was taken to the medical centre for checks, and was found to have concussion.
Regardless of this he still secured the fourth fastest qualifying time; but as a result of his and the car’s injuries Jake was forced to relinquish his grid slot for race one. Despite a sorry looking race car in the paddock on Saturday afternoon, Jake’s Jamun team worked their magic over the weekend to ensure he lined up on the starting grid on Monday morning.
Forced to start of the back of a long grid was not Jake’s ideal situation, but being able to climb back into the cockpit after such an incident is testament to his ability.
Determined to put the ghosts of Saturday behind him, the 17-year old drove a brave race. Having fought his way through the 19 car field to a strong ninth place finish, the chequered flag was a welcomed sight.
After a valiant effort at Oulton Park, Jake is eager to get back behind the wheel of his red racing machine in just two weeks time. The weekend of 14-15th May will see the Formula Ford class head to the newly refurbished Snetterton circuit, Norfolk for their third adventure of the season.
10/04/11: A new season sees Rotherham racing driver Jake Cook welcome a new challenge. Jake is again contesting the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain this year, however with a brand new team to him.
Switching to the infamous Jamun squad, Jake has a host of possibilities open to him this year, as he chases the 2011 championship title. Jamun are a household name in the sport, and after joining forces with them Jake is heading in the right direction.
Last weekend (9-10th April) saw Jake head to Silverstone for the opening round of the championship. In a brand new car it was always going to be a tough weekend, especially considering the distinct lack of track time he has had in the car compared to that of his rivals.
The weekend began with free practice on Friday 8thApril, whilst Saturday played host to qualifying and race one. Sunday was dedicated to pure racing, with the second and third races holding the focus of the crowds.
Sadly Jake’s weekend began with difficulties, when gear issues marred his progress. Despite this, the 17-year old was able to qualify a strong sixth for race one. Hard work from the team throughout Saturday night ensured Jake was able to take part in Sunday’s action, after Saturday turned out to be a difficult day. “On Saturday night we stayed all night trying to get it sorted. We changed my seat, my seating position, changed the gear stick, and changed everything in the gearbox pretty much apart from the gearbox,” said Jake.
Regardless of the team’s efforts the gearbox gremlin decided to return for the second outing, before finally disappearing by the third race. Glad to see the back of their earlier issues, Jake lined up on the grid for the final race of the day. After getting a strong start his early pace was soon haltered by the release of the Safety Car. From here the race settled into a steady rhythm, which saw the young racer pushed back due to other people’s incidents.
Commenting on his first round of the season Jake said: “I expected this first weekend to be hard just because we’ve had no testing, so we’re going to try and raise some more money and try and get some testing in before the next few races.
“It will get better once I get a bit more seat time, as I’m so far behind everyone else, so it’s really hard work. But to qualify sixth I was really happy as I didn’t think I’d be anywhere near there. We’ll get there,” he added, pragmatic as ever.
Jake’s next round is at Oulton Park, Cheshire over the Easter Weekend. With another trio of races planned he is eager to impress, with three podium finishes the target to enhance his championship charge.