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Jake Cook becomes first ever RSF MSA Young Driver of the Year

The Motor Sports Association (MSA) is pleased to announce that Formula Ford competitor Jake Cook has won the first ever RSF MSA Young Driver of the Year award.

The accolade – sponsored by the Racing Steps Foundation (RSF) – will be awarded annually to a student enrolled on the MSA’s Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) in Motor Sport programme, which forms part of the MSA Academy structure.

MSA Academy Coaches Greg Symes and James Wozencroft selected a shortlist of five finalists from the current AASE students – Cook, 17 from South Yorkshire; Jack Dex, 18 from Norhamptonshire; Dan O’Brien, 18 from Hertfordshire; Louise Richardson, 17 from Lincolnshire; and Dilip Singh, 17 from Cardiff – to attend a shootout for the 2010 award at Pure Tech Racing in Surrey last December.

The finalists spent time in a race simulator before delivering a short presentation about the key lessons they have learned from the Apprenticeship course. All were praised for their performances by the judging panel, which comprised MSA Performance Director Robert Reid, MSA National Race Coach David Brabham, GP3 driver James Calado, RSF’s Simon Pearson, Autosport magazine’s Ben Anderson and MSA Communications Director Ben Taylor.

Cook said: “It means a great deal to me to win the RSF MSA Young Driver of the Year award. The AASE programme has taught me a great deal about human performance and sports science, which I’ve been able to apply both on the track and off it to achieve stronger results. My whole approach to the sport has changed dramatically because of what I have learned in the past 18 months. I’d strongly encourage other young drivers seeking a professional motor sport career to join the scheme in the future.”

Reid said: “During his time with the MSA Academy Jake has shown himself to be dedicated to both his education and his racing career, and has excelled in taking what he is learning on the programme and applying it to what he is doing on the circuit. Jake is a worthy winner of the RSF MSA Young Driver of the Year award as he has all the attributes necessary to become one of the UK’s top drivers, and he is someone we will certainly be keeping a close eye on for future inclusion in the Team UK national squad.”

Cook will receive a cheque for £1000 at the MSA’s prestigious Night of Champions ceremony at the Royal Automobile Club on 21 January. All finalists also received a Grand Prix Racewear voucher worth £100.

Release MSA11-007: 12 January 2011
For media information only. No regulatory value.