Driver interview with #81 Paul Cook

 

Hello blossom!! Thank you for taking some time to chat with me. Defending national champion, Could you just start by telling those who don’t know much about you some of your previous racing history?

Well it go’s way back to childhood really, my dad had always raced while I was young and I started out by racing at the local kart track, once I was old enough I raced as a junior doing grass track but only for a couple of years and both myself and my dad stopped racing. Then my dad starting working as a scrutineer for spedeworth so we were still around racing a lot and I eventually became a scrutineer myself. I would like to have raced but spedeworth didn’t really have anything that I liked the look of that I thought I could afford to do and be competitive enough. That was until one day I heard about a guy called John Smith that had started an interesting formula that might tick all the boxes.

Racing is well and truly in your blood, as you said it can be a very expensive sport. The mini super twos do aim for affordable racing for sure. You’ve been very successful in the formula, national champion 2021, midlands champion etc, however with just 4 days away from our biggest meeting of the year, tell us how are you feeling, are the nerves setting in?

If you had asked me a couple of weeks ago I probably wouldn’t have been very confident as results have been harder to come by first with some engine problems and then getting the car where I wanted it but the last meeting the car felt really good after a few tweaks and I was able to grab some last minute points which put me in a better place on the grid so I’m feeling a little happier and I do generally go well at Aldershot…….but as we all know this is stockcar racing and it very rarely go’s to plan so I definitely won’t be thinking it will be straightforward with several fast drivers in very good form at the moment. But no nerves yet.

Defiantly stock car racing never goes to plan, Sounds like your going in with an open mind. For those that don’t know about the cars, what sort of preparations are involved ready for a meeting? And how do you feel about this years national grid draw? there looks to be some healthy competition.

Everyone has different ways of getting ready for meetings and with the cars and engines all being the same setup is very important so we take a lot of time and effort to make sure the car is exactly as we want it, I say we as my dad is a massive help and on the journeys to and from race meetings we are constantly talking through how the car is and what we can adjust to make it better, everything is measured and weighed until it’s exactly as we want it. The grid is going to be interesting, I know what the first 2 or 3 rows will be from the points but I’ve not seen what the whole grid will look like yet, but if those 3 rows we really have got the best drivers and all are very capable of winning.

All the hard work has paid off going by your success in the formula. It is nice to see the car is always well maintained. It is looking to be an interesting one this year that’s for sure! As in previous interviews drivers were asked who they would like to see in our hire car, Billy and Deane Wood were mentioned Among Chris Haird. What are your thoughts on the mentioned names, and who would you like to see in our hire car?

I try to keep the car clean and tidy, it’s far easier working on a clean car when you do have repairs that need doing. I think all 3 of those people would be great to have in the hire car, we have had people from all sorts of formulas in hire cars over the years from National Hotrod drivers to Brisca F1 drivers and it’s always fun to see their reaction as they really see that they are brilliant fun to drive and we really do get stuck in. I’ve always said I’d like to see Jason cooper drive one as he is a smooth tactical driver and I think he would go well, I think Gavin Botfield would be a good shout and maybe Paul Wright who is really showing the National Hotrod guys how it’s done lately.

Agree with you there, maintenance definitely helps with repairs! The racing is always great fun on on and off track, hard racing however all drivers are fair and respectful, just how stock car should be! Would have to agree I think it would be great to see them have a go! Just a couple of quick fire questions before we left you go... Are you ready?

Fire away

Favourite track?

Aldershot

In your opinion best looking car?

Mine of course!

Dark horse on track?

Famous Seamus

The new Simpson exhaust or standard?

Oh the new Simpson for sure, sounds like a speedway bike now

Best newcomer off 2021?

The kintons have done really well

What tyre pressures will you run for the national? *taking notes*

80 psi all round 😛

Lastly.. will you retain your title?

.................Oh you can’t ask that

Wrong answer 🙂

I will certainly be doing my best to

Well Paul, it’s been lovely chatting and thank you for taking the time Out to talk to me, is there any sponsors or people you would like thank or mention?

I have to thank my dad first of all for all the help and Hayden for listening to me talk about racing endlessly. My sponsors Ipswich carpet & flooring and oaks caravans who have been just the best from the very start, I have to thank John and all the guys and girls behind the scenes that do so much. We have to say a big thanks to Spedeworth and PRI Birmingham wheels who have been great to us and lastly but just as importantly all the drivers and their families and crews that make the formula what it is both on track and in the pits. It really is not like any other formula and all of our drivers will tell you the same. We rock!

Perfect, keep doing what you are doing, the MST team appreciate all you and Darrell do for the formula. Thank you for your continued support and best of luck for Sunday’s National Championship.

Thanks blossom and best of luck to all the drivers heading to Aldershot on Sunday.

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