Teenager Rupert notches up useful wins

TEENAGE racing driver Rupert Svendsen-Cook recorded the best-ever results of his promising career with two strong points finishes at Belgium's Zolder track.

Stuart Watson

TEENAGE racing driver Rupert Svendsen-Cook recorded the best-ever results of his promising career with two strong points finishes at Belgium's Zolder track.

In rounds three and four of the Formula BMW Europe Championship, the 17 year-old moved up to 12th in the overall standings with impressive 11th and eighth place finishes.

The Ipswich resident greatly strengthened his growing reputation by moving up through the field in both races, despite it being a track not renowned for its overtaking opportunities.

The Double R Racing driver said: “I have been training hard and the team have been making great preparations, which is what is making all the difference at the moment.

“Double R are moving me on as a driver and it is showing in my results, which are not only consistent, but getting better all the time.”

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The weekend got off to a promising start for Svendsen-Cook when he took 14th place on the 28-strong grid for the first race.

With the team having strategically chosen to sacrifice qualifying speed in favour of a better set-up over a race distance, Svendsen-Cook was confident that he could make significant progress up the order - and so it proved.

In the first race he used a strong start to surge up the order into 11th and, although he remained there all the way to the chequered flag, he admits he was keen to get good points on the board rather than risk an incident around the tight Belgian circuit.

He said: “We deliberately set the car up to sacrifice some qualifying pace in order to be quicker in the races and it was certainly paying off.

“In the first race I managed to get a good start and I was running comfortably with the pace of the cars in front, but it's really difficult to overtake in Zolder.”

Starting on the fifth row of the gird for the second race (tenth), Svendsen-Cook again proved quick at the start to stay inside the top ten.

Recording the sixth fastest lap in a field that contained many more experienced drivers, the youngster managed to progress up to eighth before the finish for the best result of his career.

He said: “The second race was far better. I was encouraged to be right on the pace with the guys in front of me, but again it was too difficult to make a pass because everyone was so evenly matched.”

The result also meant that Svendsen-Cook was the highest placed Brit.

Double R Racing team principal Anthony Hieatt said: “Rupert did a fantastic job for us. You can clearly see his is maturing as a racer and I am sure even better results are just around the corner.”

Svendsen-Cook is now looking forward to getting back to supporting the European rounds of the Formula One Championship, starting with the Britsih Grand Prix at Silverstone.

There he will be looking to repeat the form he showed at the track in pre-season testing when he was classified as third fastest.

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