Hill getting ready for new season
Hill getting ready for new season

A sunny and mild day greeted MB Motorsport at Brands Hatch, where BRDC ‘Superstar’ Jake Hill, and team-mate Ollie Jackson completed over 70 trouble-free laps as part of their preparation for  their 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship campaign.

Hill took the wheel of his newly-built Ford Focus ST for the first time today (23rd March) and worked through a thorough programme of set-up changes, declaring himself ‘hugely impressed’ with the design and build of the car.

“After my run shaking the car down yesterday I felt really confident in the chassis – I was down to a really good time within about 5 laps – and have gained a really good understanding of the car and it’s characteristics so quickly. Already I can see how Ollie and Rory (Butcher) were able to win so many races between them last year!

Working through several set-up changes, Hill and his engineer, Craig Porley made back-to-back comparisons with the 2020 Ford Focus and Hill’s 2020 BTCC Civic Type-R, allowing them to draw several clear conclusions as they progressed through the day.

“We knew the theory of what should work, and were really fortunate to have a mild, dry day and relatively little traffic on track, so were able to get plenty of work done. It means when we head to Croft in a couple of weeks we can maximise the time there, at a very different type of circuit. So overall we are really satisfied with the day, and Jake was flying from the outset which of course was hugely pleasing‘ said Porley.

Joining Hill and Jackson was Hill’s 2020 team-mate, Sam Osborne, who continued to impress with a number of very strong runs, meaning all three Ford Focus ST drivers concluded the day within a few hundredths of a second of each other.

“Massive thanks to all the guys at MB Motorsport and Motorbase for doing such an incredible job on the car. My lead mechanic Ben (Tyler) has lead the build of the car from the ground-up, and I have had no issues which highlights how good the job is. I absolutely love the car, and feel very confident already we will have a very potent machine’ smiled Hill

Hill now will concentrate on more track-time at Croft in April, with further outings planned prior to the 2021 BTCC season launch at Silverstone on 22nd April, then the opening race weekend at Thruxton, Hampshire, on 8th & 9th May.

“We’re so looking forward to getting started, especially as we should have fans and guests at events from Snetterton in June, so it will be amazing to see – and hear – the incredible BTCC ‘Tifosi’ back with us again. And hopefully, more podiums for them to cheer about!

Pictures supplied by Jakob Ebrey Photography.