(April 30th, 2009) - Canadian driver Jake Thompson walked away from the opening weekend of the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup with his first career win and established himself as a serious contender for the $100,000 championship prize.
Heading into the weekend Thompson was trying to keep his expectations low. The event at Virginia International Raceway would be his first competition in a race car after moving up from the karting ranks. Those expectations changed after he was able to put his #19 Volkswagen Jetta TDI fourth in official practice. Friday afternoon Thompson would set the tone for a good weekend by qualifying third for race 1 and second for race 2.
Starting from row two for the first race, Thompson made it clear he was looking to begin his pro career with a trip to the top of the podium by making a pair of early moves that put him in the lead on lap 4. His stay at the front would be short lived as he showed his inexperience by going off in turn 14 the following lap. A lengthy trip through the grass relegated Thompson to the middle of the pack, but he immediately went back to work storming to the fastest lap of the race and a new track record. By the end of the 30 minute race he had worked his way back up to 8th place, a good recovery drive to salvage some points for the championship.
Looking for redemption on Sunday, Thompson used his front row grid spot to move into the lead by lap 3. Over the next 10 laps Jake would fend off challenges from both Timmy Megenbeier and defending race winner Mark Pombo to hold onto the top position. On the final lap Pombo made one last attempt for the lead going into Turn 14, but ended up off course, which allowed Thompson to cruise through the final corners for his first win of the season.
â€śThis weekend has been a fantastic start to the yearâ€ť commented Thompson. â€śComing into the season I didnâ€™t know what to expect from my first season in cars, but now I am looking to build on this win and battle for the championshipâ€ť.
Heading to Round 3 at Miller Motorsports Park, May 17th, Thompson shares the championship lead with Saturday winner Joey Atterbury, and will be looking to build on the momentum he picked up at VIR.
More information can be found at www.jakethompson.ca
. Jake can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Born in Calgary, AB, 23 year old Jake Thompson is an aspiring race car driver competing in the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Series. Thompson began karting at the age of 13, and in 2004 won the Canadian National Karting Championships in the premier ICC Shifter class. The 2009 Jetta TDI Cup will be Thompsonâ€™s rookie season in a full sized race car. In addition to his accomplishments on the race track, Jake holds a bachelorâ€™s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia.