Points, Pace and Pain for Hill
Points, Pace and Pain for Hill

In yet another strong weekend in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, Trade Price Cars Racing’s Jake Hill moved up to 5th in the Independant’s Drivers Series, taking two hard fought 10th place finishes, but also feeling the pain as a superb drive in race three was curtailed with gearbox issues.

Frustrated that Red Flags in qualifying meant his best lap was hampered, Hill started race one in P14, and using the ‘hard’ tyre – the slowest of the three compounds that the drivers would use at Snetterton – the first time BTCC have used all three compounds in one race weekend.

Accepting that the tyre would restrict performance, Hill nevertheless scrapped hard, and good fortune with Neal, Chilton and Morgan dropping out, plus a great start passing Butcher and Smiley saw Hill running P9.

Simpson on the fastest ‘soft’ tyres edged past, but Hill managed the pressure from both Butcher and Sutton behind him well to take a hard-fought P10, as the fastest of the ‘hard’ tyre runners.

“Really pleased with that. To make up 4 places on the ‘hard’ tyre, and keep guys as quick as Rory and Ash behind was mega”
Starting P10 in race two and now on the ‘medium’ tyre, Hill immediately gained a place as Collard hit trouble, then maintained position chasing Plato for much of the race. Late on Smiley and Sutton edged past, but when Ingram also had issues it left Hill once again to finish P10, and again take more points.

“Another solid race, and another P10. Really pleased with that, a great way to finish my 100th BTCC race! I was under pressure from Oliphant in the BMW for the last few laps, so very pleasing to keep him behind” smiled Hill.

Starting race three on the fastest ‘soft’ tyres, Hill’s opening lap was just superb.

A lightning getaway saw Hill swoop around the outside of Cammish at Riches, then bravely drive around both Jordan and Turkington at the Montreal Hairpin, before out-dragging Simpson on the exit, and up to P5 in just two corners!

Closing on Jackson and forcing him into a mistake saw Hill cut-back on the exit of Oggies, and now up to P4, before charging after Smiley, cutting the gap and setting fastest lap at that stage.

A lap later Hill was with Smiley, with the pair caught by Butcher, and as they closed on the BTC Honda, another superbly timed ‘cut-back’ saw Hill again pass at Oggies, now up to a remarkable P3 – and leader in the ‘Independent’ Class.

A frantic battle ahead between Sutton and Plato saw Hill backed up slightly, but a well-timed move saw Hill’s close-friend Butcher edge past, with Hill immediately charging back.

However a couple of laps later Hill dropped back, initially running P11 for a couple of further laps before the #24 machine trundled into the pits and retired with gearbox issues.

“What an opening lap, what a race. I really think we had enough to get a podium today, maybe even a Win. So frustrating, but I have to say a huge ‘well done’ to my mate Rory and to Shaun (Hollamby) for their win. Well deserved”

“Really proud of the team – all the guys at Trade Price Cars Racing and AmD Tuning have done an amazing job. We welcomed Racetruck, Procurri and Octane Finance on board as partners this weekend, and had our guests from Aston Lark and Ecoflam with us, so hopefully they all had a great time and we can move on to Thruxton and keep this performance up”

Images courtesy of www.pspimages.co.uk