Wilson Racing riders Max Cook and Charlie Atkins competed in the final round of the European Talent Cup. Under clear blue skies the young riders got to enjoy the famous Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia and compete against some of the best young riders in Europe.
Thirty seven riders took to the track during the first of two forty minute qualifying sessions. In the first of those Max Cook managed to record a lap time of 1:44.077 putting him fourteenth overall and 1.2 seconds behind the leading rider. Charlie Atkins was less fortunate as early in the session another rider went down the inside of the number 56 where there wasn’t a lot of room. The two touched and Atkins crashed out on just his fourth lap.
The team worked quickly to get Atkins back out before the end of the session. With a second qualifying session in the afternoon Atkins used the remaining fifteen minutes he had to build his confidence rather than attack for a faster lap time. He finished 32nd overall.
In qualifying two Cook tried hard to find more speed but like a lot of riders the conditions in the afternoon didn’t favour him. Despite not improving further Cook qualified 16th overall with a best lap of 1:44.077.
Atkins managed to complete twenty laps in the allotted time and improved his lap time to 1:46.647. Despite cutting nearly seven tenths from his morning lap time Atkins lined up 31st for the final European Talent Cup race of the season.
The good weather continued for race day and both Cook and Atkins were looking forward to the experience.
Cook made a superb start to the original race but it was quickly red flagged after an accident, meaning the riders had to line-up again for the re-start.
Again he got away well launching himself from to 16th to 12th by the end of the first lap. Cook continued to push on making up two more positions to reach the top ten by the end of the fourth lap. On the penultimate lap he was running 8th but lost out when Meikon Kawakami, who finished third in the championship overall, managed to cross the line 0.022 seconds ahead. Cook ended the race a fantastic ninth.
Atkins also made a good start moving up two places to 29th by the end of the first lap. By the end of the seventh lap Atkins had improved to 27th and was maintaining a small advantage over another British rider just behind him. His efforts were rewarded with a 25th place finish at the finish line.
Gary Wilson said,” It’s been a fantastic experience for the whole team. Both riders worked very hard and Max’s ninth place against this competitive field was fantastic. Charlie has also gained valuable knowledge and we have seen him improve throughout the weekend.”