Jake Thompson takes his first win of the season at Miller Calgary's Jake Thompson headed to Utah needing a good result to get him back into Championship contention in the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup. He got that and more, converting a pole...
Jake Thompson takes his first win of the season at Miller
Calgary's Jake Thompson headed to Utah needing a good result to get him back into Championship contention in the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup. He got that and more, converting a pole position into his first win of the season, vaulting to 2nd in the championship standings. With the win, Thompson also raised over $1000 this weekend for Right To Play.
Sunny skies and warm temperatures greeted the competitors as they arrived at beautiful Miller Motorsports Park. Arguably some of the weekend's most intense battles went down Friday afternoon, as Jake took on fellow TDI Cup driver Ryan Ellis, series Photographer Bruce Lancaster, and guest driver World Superbike star Roger Hayden, in a battle for rental kart supremacy. Ryan Ellis showed he brought his A-game to Utah by taking the win on the kart track, battling through numerous attempts by Thompson to knock him off the track. This month's edition of "True Tales from the TDI Cup" takes you onboard during the rental kart showdown and is available online at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjXHOcpYfnk
With passing being notoriously difficult at the twisty Miller layout, everyone knew that Saturday would be a very important day, with Practice and Qualifying on the schedule. Practice proved especially tough, as the tachometer in Thompson's Jetta failed, forcing him to try to judge his shift points by ear which proved almost impossible due to the quiet nature of the TDI engine. After a lengthy stop in the pits to try to fix the tach, he was only able to complete a handful of laps.
For qualifying, Jake decided to maximize the effect of his sticker tires, attempting an all out assault of Miller's 2.2mile East course on his first couple timed laps. The strategy worked as he was able to grab the all important pole position on only his second timed lap. Although his competitors continued to try to better their times while Thompson sat in the pits, no one was able to knock him off the top spot as the abrasive asphalt at Miller resulted in elevated tire temperatures making the cars difficult to handle later in the session.
For the race, the strategy was simple, make no mistakes and save the tires. Thompson got a clean getaway from the inside, and led the first couple laps with JD Mobley hot in pursuit. A lengthy caution to clean up an incident meant that everyone was able to cool their tires down, and set up an 8 lap sprint to the finish. After a great restart gave Jake a small cushion, he was able to slowly build up a comfortable gap and cruise to his first win of the season.
It was a fantastic result that definitely put Thompson back into championship contention. A big thank you goes out to all of the Volkswagen staff and mechanics, who make every event top notch. Thanks as well to the four guest drivers who joined the TDI Cup this weekend: World Superbike rider Roger Hayden, Freeskier Grete Eliassen, Speedskater Anthony Lobello, and Thomas Lyman from 0-60 magazine. Next up is Round 5 at Mid-Ohio in two weeks time.