Hill takes superb Touring Car Win at Goodwood
Hill takes superb Touring Car Win at Goodwood

After being invited by Goodwood to compete in the prestigious timed ‘Shootout’ at the Festival of Speed, 27 year-old BRDC ‘Superstar’ Jake Hill went on to take a superb victory on Sunday in the Touring Car class, and P5 overall in Ric Wood’s stunning HKS-liveried Nissan Skyline R32 GTR.

“Ric called me a few weeks ago to say that Goodwood had been in touch, and requested both the car and me to compete in the ‘Shootout’ –  I instantly said yes of course! We had a brilliant time at Speedweek in the Calsonic liveried car last year – winning the Touring Car class on the circuit – so to come to compete on the famous hill is real bucket-list stuff – and in a different Skyline this year which is even cooler!

“I did one run here back in 2012 in the Nissan Juke GTR Prototype – and other than a bit of instructing on the ‘Moving Motorshow’ this is the first time up the hill since then. We only get a demo run once a day, then one timed run each day, including qualifying on Saturday then the final run on Sunday afternoon, so we have to get on with it pretty quickly.

A solid run on Thursday was followed by frustration on Friday when the stop-start of driving down to the Startline resulted in the 6 cylinder racing engine fouling a plug, and a run on just 5 cylinders, but Ric Wood and his expert crew quickly identified and remedied the issue in time for Saturday’s all-important qualifying.

“We had a good start Thursday, then a bit frustrating on Friday, but the guys got on top of it and  during the run on Saturday – albeit in damp conditions – the car ran superbly.

After a demo run in the morning, the one-shot qualifying run late afternoon was held on an almost dry track, and the BTCC regular attacked the 1.16 mile course with his usual commitment, ending up quickest in the Touring Car class and P6 overall.

“That was a bit sketchy near the end of the run! Still a bit damp and I had a couple of big twitches, so I’m really pleased with that – the car ran faultlessly which is the main thing.

As Goodwood welcomed a large and passionate crowd over the weekend, Hill was pleased to meet so many fans, and also spend time with BTCC partners Diamondbrite on their stand at the show, and after one final demo run he and the team prepared for the final Shootout timed run.

“Ric (Wood) is not only preparing the Skyline, but also his Holden Commodore V8 Supercar from the Australian V8 series that he’s driving. So it’s a busy time for him and the team, and he’s gotta concentrate on hustling the Holden, which is no mean feat!

A huge variety of machines entertained not only the crowd at Goodwood, but also live on Sky Sports and on Goodwood’s own live feed on YouTube, and as they took their turn the skies overhead looked menacing, but ultimately the rain held off

Shortly before Hill was due to start, other legendary Touring Cars  ran such as the 1994 Alfa Romeo 155, 1983 Rover SD1, 1989 Ford Sierra RS500 and of course Ric’s Holden Commodore.

Then just after Ric’s run where he set the fastest time so far, a spectacular accident for Jack Tetley in his ‘Mello Hello’ Cole Trickle NASCAR caused the session to halt.

“Most importantly Jack was OK, but it did a lot of damage to the car and the scenery, meaning a delay of about 45 minutes – just to add a bit more tension!

Finally Hill blasted into action, the multi-coloured machine hopping and twitching up the hill, visually quicker than those so far, ultimately going fastest by over 3 seconds, and setting his personal fastest time of the weekend by over a second.

“That was pretty wild! Lots of power but very lairy, but what a rush. I loved it, and it’s fantastic to have Won the Touring Car class on the hill, to add to the win last year on the circuit. 

Hill then watched as the remainder of the cars completed their runs, delighted with 5th overall and a class win amongst some incredibly machinery.

“Thanks so very much to Goodwood for inviting us and for an amazing weekend. It’s been fantastic on and off track, I love this event so much. But mostly an enormous thank you to Ric, Graham, Ollie, Mark and Phil for looking after the car so brilliantly, and for trusting me – I am so very lucky.

Hill will now focus on preparing for the next round of Kwik Fit British Touring Cars with his MB Motorsport Ford Focus ST at Oulton Park at the end of the month.

“We had two days testing at Oulton last week, and despite mixed conditions got through a lot of things we wanted to try. I ended up quickest in the wet in the morning on day two, after being second in the damp conditions on day one, and in the top-six in the dry on both days. Most importantly we completed a race run really successfully, so feel really confident going there in a couple of weeks.

Images courtesy of MAW Imagery