Cook, a BRDC Rising Star, competed with the squad in the Formula Renault BARC series this year, and was classified fifth overall with six podiums to his name. The 20-year old is eagerly anticipating his debut in BRDC F4 next weekend (9/10 November) at Snetterton, having tested for two days at the venue in recent weeks.
“I hope we’ll be challenging for the championship, it’s never taken me too long to get on the pace in anything before – I wouldn’t be doing the F4 Winter Series if I didn’t think I could win it”, said the Rotherham youngster. “I did test the car at the recent sampler day, I had quite a lot of time in it but it was wet. I really enjoyed it, though, the car seemed good.
“There’s a lot of grip from the car. As I only ran in the wet I’m not sure if that’s mainly the aero or the tyres, but it is an easy car to drive – you can see why so many of the karters have gone well in F4 this year. The gearbox is good, the paddle-shift is new to me, and it is probably a bit more physical as the steering is heavier than what I’ve been used to. That won’t be a problem though, it should be good.”
Cook, an Economics student at Newcastle University while not racing, made his single seater debut in 2010 in Formula Ford after learning his craft in the Ginetta Junior Championship. He was named the Racing Steps Foundation MSA Young Driver of the Year following a strong season in the series, and also competed in selected rounds of the championship in 2011. He returned for a full season in 2012, finishing as Vice-Champion with two wins and 12 further podiums. He was also a race winner in the Formula Ford EuroCup, before moving on to further success in Formula Renault BARC in 2013.
Hillspeed team principal Richard Ollerenshaw is confident Cook will be a genuine championship contender. “We’re all absolutely delighted Jake is staying with the team for his move into BRDC Formula 4” he enthused. “He’s a very talented driver and did a fantastic job in his first season with us in Formula Renault BARC this year. Our aim is to try and win the Winter Championship title and we’re confident Jake will be one of the main contenders.
“Hillspeed had a very strong season in F4 this year. Ending the season as Vice-Champions with Seb Morris was tremendous and we’ve proved we’ve got the car to win. We’re really looking forward to the Winter Championship and also keen to hear from other drivers who would like to join our winning team.”
The BRDC F4 Winter Championship commences on 9-10 November on the Snetterton 300 circuit in Norfolk. For more information visit www.formula4.com