Victory for Hill at Goodwood
Victory for Hill at Goodwood

In the inaugural Goodwood Speedweek, which combined the best of the iconic Sussex venue’s motorsport events, BRDC ‘Superstar’ Jake Hill blasted  Ric Wood’s mighty  Calsonic Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R to victory.

He took victory in the Saloon car category in the 23-car MasterCard ‘Shootout’,  taking 7th place overall amongst Formula One, Le Mans, GT, NASCAR and Supercar machinery.

Hill was invited to drive by Wood after previously sampling the car at Oulton Park last year, and was delighted to be given the chance to challenge some top-quality cars and drivers in the one-lap sprint around the challenging 2.4 mile sweeps of Goodwood.

After practice on Friday, and qualifying on Saturday, Hill took to the track mid-morning Sunday for a timed run, and with the car running beautifully put in his quickest lap of the weekend so far, ending P8 overall on a 1m 19.062.

“We had a couple of niggles on Friday and Saturday, so today was our first trouble-free run and the car felt fantastic. We are up against some incredible cars and drivers – to be competing against 3 times Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti, 9 times Le Mans Winner Tom Kristensen and 3 times Le Mans winner Marco Werner amongst others is a huge honour. I have wanted to be part of a Goodwood event for so long, so it means a huge amount  just to be taking part, let alone in one of my favourite cars ever!

As the first few runs took place, it was clear the pace had got hotter and the times were improving from almost everyone involved.

Tom Kristensen set the first truly quick lap in his 1997 Le Mans winning Porsche WSC-95, with a 1m 18.711, and with 15 cars now having set their time Hill lined up to take the start.

With just one lap from a standing start, the drivers had to dig deep to find the limit of their machines on one of the most demanding circuits in motorsport.

Hill blasted into action, and immediately caused excitement as the vivid blue machine twitched and slid through the high-speed sweeps, setting fastest sector times and drawing praise from the ITV commentary team of David Addison and Sam Hancock, who marvelled at Hill’s commitment and car-control as he drifted spectacularly around the lap.

As Hill entered the final couple of turns – including the legendary chicane at the end of the lap – it was clear he had wrung every ounce of performance out of the car, and he crossed the line to go fastest overall by a mere 0.017 seconds!

“Oh my word that was crazy! The car was always moving about and kept me hanging on, but it ran beautifully and to top the times is insane. I know the F1 cars and Le Mans prototypes will go quicker of course, but I know I gave it all and be P1 is amazing  so I’m really happy.

As the final 6 cars took their turns to run, Hill saw the GT3 Audi R8, the Pescarolo LMP1 Prototypes, the Porsche Supercup car and the 1970’s F1 cars all edge ahead, before the final runner, the 1989 Arrows F1 car driven by Nick Padmore, set a mind blowing 1m 09.973 to take a well-deserved overall victory.

Hill joined Padmore, James Cottingham and WEC racer Richard Westbrook as class winners, proudly wearing the Goodwood Winners cap and taking the winners laurels and champagne home as a special momento of his exploits.

“I cannot thank Ric, Graham, Ollie, Mark T, Phil and Mark for all their hard work and for giving me my shot. I’ve loved it and am  beyond delighted to have Won my class and finished P7 overall.

“I hope this event happens again cos it’s been amazing. Next is to try and get a win before the BTCC season ends!

Images courtesy of Jakob Ebrey