Super Touring Perfection for Hill at Brands Hatch

“Beyond amazing!” is how BTCC star Jake Hill summarised his superb weekend at Brands Hatch, taking Laurent Aiello’s 1999 BTCC Championship winning Nissan Primera GT to Victory in all-four Laser Tools Super Tourers Championship races, joining car-owner Richard Wheeler and BTCC Legend Anthony Reid as part of a three-car team at this weekend’s inaugural Super Touring Power event. 29 year-old Hill realised a long-term ambition in racing one of the most successful cars of the Super Touring era of the 1990’s, with this being made even better with the addition of not only Reid, but fellow Touring Car legends Paul Radisich, Greg Murphy and Steven Richards to the spectacular 20-car grid. “I had some laps in the car last week at Donington Park, and was blown away with everything about it. Incredibly balanced, and with amazing brakes, engine, gearbox – just fantastic! And to be racing it on my ‘home’ circuit, alongside some real legends of the sport is so cool. I was 5 years-old when this car was racing – my Dad was racing in the Renault Spider series as part of the support package to BTCC that year – I can vividly remember being at the races, seeing the cars with my Dad. So for both of us this is so special” With two races on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit on Saturday, and a further two on the Indy Circuit on Sunday, Hill was immediately up to speed, setting the quickest time in qualifying early on, before stopping after 3 laps to preserve tyres, ending up just 0.118 seconds behind Pole-man Stewart Whyte. “Happy with that. I just did the minimum of laps, and starting on the front-row with a rolling start puts us in a strong position”
Starting the 15 minute race alongside Whyte’s Honda Accord, Hill dived around the outside of the Scotsman and into the lead at Paddock Bend, just squeezing ahead in a committed move. Over the next few laps, Hill edged away, but on lap 3 a gearbox issue caused his 1.8 second lead to halve, meaning Hill had to adjust his driving style, before gradually edging away again to take Victory by 3.646 seconds from Whyte and Hughes’ Vauxhall Vectra. “That was fantastic! The car was on rails – gearbox gave me some major worries early on – but I still managed to set fastest lap, so overall I’m delighted with that” Now on Pole Position having Won race one, this time Hill immediately took the lead at the start, again beginning to edge away from Whyte before again losing some time mid race. “The guys at JDR (John Danby Racing) did a mega job to take the ‘box out and fix the broken gear, however we had an odd issue where it kept jumping from third to fourth gear, so we had to adapt, but it was fine after the Safety Car, and I was able to bring it home again” Taking his second Win of the day, again ahead of Whyte, with a hard-charging James Kellett a well-earned third, Hill was keen to thank the team for their hard work. “The car has been brilliant, and Stewart, Tom, Louie, Pedro and the rest of the JDR guys have worked so hard, really appreciate everything they’ve done – two out of two!”
Qualifying for Sunday’s races took place on a sunny and warm morning, and immediately Hill blasted to the top of the times, ultimately setting a 49.311 second lap to take Pole Position by 0.941 seconds from Reid and Whyte. “Again the car was spot-on – probably the best it’s been all weekend – and it’s great to have Anthony (Reid) alongside me too for a JDR 1-2” Once again a strong rolling start saw Hill lead into Paddock Bend, but Whyte’s Honda had followed the #24 machine through and passed Reid, immediately charging after Hill. However as Hill began to stretch his lead, setting Fastest Lap, the race was halted to recover David Power’s stricken machine, and after a short delay resumed with Hill once again leading Whyte, improving his fastest lap and taking his third victory of the weekend. Behind them, one of the drives of the race came from Hill’s team-mate Richard Wheeler, who charged past young star Kellett, as well as Richards and Murphy, before pulling off a spectacular late-braking move on Anthony Reid into Paddock Bend, to move from 9th on the grid to a superb 4th overall. “So pleased with that one – and what a drive from Richard, just brilliant – and once again I could not be happier with the car” For the final race of the weekend Hill would this time be out-dragged by Whyte in Paddock Bend, slotting in closely behind until the pair braked for Clearways, where Whyte locked his rear tyres, running wide and Hill taking the lead from Hughes and Reid. With Reid initially closing on Hughes quickly, Hill concentrated on setting consistent laps, saving tyres until three laps from the end when he began to edge clear, once again setting fastest lap, and rounded out a remarkable weekend with with his fourth Win out of four races, along with three fastest laps and three Pole Position starts. “Where do I start?! Firstly, and most importantly the biggest of thanks to Richard Wheeler for trusting me with his amazing car. Without Richard’s support when I first raced regularly in BTCC I simply wouldn’t have been able to have the career I have had so far. He also put me in his Lotus Elan in 2018 and we Won the Silverstone Classic GT race, which started my whole Historic racing career. So I am massively appreciative of all he’s done, and for this very special opportunity. Of course the whole crew at JDR – Stewart, Tom, Louie, Pedro and the guys for giving me such a brilliant car – plus the awesome fans, marshals and of course my fellow competitors for making this such a memorable weekend “My Dad joked to me afterwards “You Won two out of three races at Oulton Park in BTCC, now all four races here, so six out of seven – I guess nobody’s perfect!” which made me smile – it’s been a couple of race weekends I will never forget” Hill now heads to Donington Park on 4th July for the Goodyear BTCC tyre test, back in his Laser Tools MB Motorsport BMW 330e M-Sport, before heading to Goodwood the following week for the Festival of Speed, taking part in the Shootout in Ric Wood’s Nissan Skyline R32, as well as representing BMW and his partners Diamondbrite during the event. “It’s a busy time but I am really lucky to be driving so many brilliant cars – can’t wait to be back in my BMW again and at Goodwood in the Skyline, and then in a few weeks BTCC resumes at Croft, another of my favourite circuits. But for now I’m still trying to take in this weekend because it’s been one of the best experiences ever…”

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