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Historic Touring Car Heaven for Hill
Historic Touring Car Heaven for Hill

Alongside his 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship campaign for Laser Tools MB Motorsport, Jake Hill will fulfil a long-term ambition to race one of the most iconic and successful cars of the legendary ‘Super Touring’ era of Touring Cars.

He joins car-owner Richard Wheeler and former Nissan factory driver Anthony Reid at Brands Hatch in a three-car team of Nissan Primera GT cars.

29 year-old Hill will race on both the Indy Circuit and the Grand Prix circuit as part of the Super Touring Power event on 1st & 2nd July, driving the 1999 BTCC Winning machine of Laurent Aiello, competing against some of the most successful and recognisable machines of the 1990’s.

“I cannot tell you how exciting this is for me! Richard (Wheeler) is a very good friend, and has said he would get me out in the car at some point, so to be racing alongside him and the legend that is Anthony Reid, and on my ‘home’ circuit, literally is heaven!”

“Hugely grateful to Richard, and the crew at John Danby Racing, for this incredible opportunity, plus there’s some amazing cars and drivers also taking part; Greg Murphy and Steven Richards from Australian Supercars, Paul Radisich and John Cleland from BTCC and so many more. Such an honour, and I’m sure it’s gonna be fantastic for the fans too.”

Hill has also been racing another legendary Touring Car, sharing Simon Watts 1975 BMW 3.0CSL at Spa-Francorchamps in the Heritage Touring Cup as part of the Spa Classic, taking part in two races at the spectacular Belgian circuit last weekend (11-14th May).

“Simon and I have raced the CSL together at Dijon last year, and it is one of the most rewarding¬†cars I’ve ever driven. We had a Night Practice session at 10.30pm on Friday and I think it’s probably the coolest and most enjoyable driving I’ve ever had – driving around Spa in the pitch black, listening to the 6 cylinder BMW engine screaming, and driving as hard as I can. Such¬†a special experience.”

Hill and Watts qualified 9th and Hill started the Night Race on Saturday strongly, battling with the faster BMW’s and Ford ‘Cologne’ Capris, running as high as third before a puncture saw them drop to the tail of the field, and out of contention.

Race two on Sunday morning saw Watts running well in the top ten, lapping quicker than he had all weekend, before handing over to Hill who rejoined back in 22nd place.

“The organisers imposed a penalty for me being a Professional driver of an additional 90 seconds added to the pitstop – so we dropped from P9 to P22 as a result. A shame ‘cos Simon had driven so well.”

Hill battled his way through the pack in the remaining minutes to cross the line in tenth place, only for the officials to add 45 seconds to their race times as a result of Watts exceeding track limits.

The pair also raced Watts striking 1973 Chevron B26 Le Mans prototype, again qualifying well in P3 in class, and Watts starting the car and running in the top-six before contact from a rival forced a pitstop to check for damage.

Rejoining in 25th, he handed over to Hill – who once again had the 90 second ‘Pro’ penalty added to the pitstop time – so focussed on setting strong lap times, matching the fastest lap until the race was Red Flagged late on.

“Massive thanks to Simon for having me on board, and John, Tom and Louie from JDR for looking after us brilliantly. Racing at Spa is just fantastic and I’ve loved every minute. We are racing together in these cars at Paul Ricard in September which should be a lot of fun. But I’ve got a lot of BTCC events to focus on first, and the Primera races in July, so I will be pretty busy!”

Hill now returns to BTCC action this coming weekend at Snetterton, aiming to emulate his podium appearances there from 2022.

“I narrowly missed out on Pole Position last year, and finished a very close second to my team-mate Colin (Turkington) in the first two races, so another weekend like that would be ideal points-wise…but of course I’d really like to get a Win here, and my West Surrey Racing BMW 330e M-Sport should be very strong, so let’s see.”

BTCC qualifying is live on line and on YouTube this Saturday 20th May at 3.40pm, with all three races live on ITV4 on Sunday 21st May at 11.25am, 2.25pm and 5.15pm.

Images courtesy of Matt Wood at MAW Imagery.