Points and pain for Hill at Croft
Points and pain for Hill at Croft

 

“Frustrating!” was how Jake Hill summed up his weekend in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Croft, after taking a season’s-best qualifying of 9th, hard-fought points in race 1, engine issues forced retirement from race 2, resulting in Hill not being able to start the final race of the day.

A manic qualifying session which saw the session stopped on five occasions, saw Hill put in a strong performance to qualify 9th overall “The car was really good, as always we felt there was a little more to come – 0.1 second would have put me in the top-six – but we really are making great progress with the car.”

Just before the opening race a heavy shower of rain meant there was a little uncertainty as to which tyres to choose, and with Hill starting on the harder ‘option’ tyres, the early laps saw several drivers able to edge past, and Hill end lap one in 14th place.

However as the tyres ‘switched on’ a decisive move on Proctor, followed by a move around the outside of Matt Neal saw Hill back to 12th, the car working well when the Safety Car appeared for an incident involving Thompson.

Gaining a place when Jackson retired, the re-start saw a fierce battle between Ingram, Hill, Neal and Jelley – with Ingram like Hill on the harder tyres. Ultimately Neal edged past both, with Jelley finishing narrow behind Hill, who crossed the line 12th.

“Until the Safety Car we ¬†were strong, but the tyres dropped off later on, so to get some more points in the circumstances was really pleasing. Great job by the team as always.”

Race two saw a bruising opening lap, with Hill being pushed off track and dropping to 16th, but as the tyres came on strong a superbly judged move saw places gained on Jelley and Proctor, then a brave move around the outside of the flat-out Jim Clark Esses on Butcher saw Hill up to 13th.

However the ‘off’ on lap one damaged the radiator and on lap three the Trade Price Cars Racing Audi S3 ground to a halt.

As the team examined the car, it was apparent that the issue with the engine was not able to be addressed, forcing the team to withdraw the 25 year-old’s car from race three.

“So incredibly frustrating” said Hill “The team at AmD Tuning and Trade Price Cars Racing have done a great job this weekend. It was was looking really good – the car was mega in race two – but it wasn’t to be. As always we are hugely appreciative of the support of Aston Lark, and this weekend for the first time CMC Civil Engineering – onwards to Oulton Park in a couple of weeks”

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