The sun sets on an unforgettable BTCC campaign for ROKiT MB Motorsport as Jake Hill claimed 3rd place in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – as well as securing the Goodyear Wingfoot Award title for the fastest qualifier across the season. Jake’s best-ever season in the series saw him claim three race victories, 13 podiums (the most of any driver), two pole positions, and five fastest laps – including setting new lap records at both Donington Park and Silverstone.
Heading for the season finale at Brands Hatch, Jake Hill occupied second in the Drivers’ Championship just five points off the lead and just seven points covering the top-three places with three races left to contest.
Qualifying day at Brands Hatch saw Jake finish the two practice sessions inside the top ten as he finished in 10th and 9th place respectively. Delivering another strong qualifying performance, Jake claimed 5th place on the starting grid for Sunday’s first race and in doing so secured the Goodyear Wingfoot Award title. Jake’s incredible qualifying form saw him have two pole position starts as well as qualifying on the front row on six occasions.
A glorious day set the scene for the final day of the 2022 season at Brands Hatch. Starting from the third row of the grid for race one, Jake got a fantastic launch off the line and looked to thread the needle between the two NAPA Racing Fords. However, the door was shut on Jake and he briefly made contact with championship challenger Sutton. Keeping his foot in up the run into Druids, Jake was able to get down the inside of Cammish and make his way into 4th place.
Now chasing down Sutton for the final spot on the podium, Jake was hustling his championship rival and was clearly the faster driver. As Sutton defended vigorously, Jake was left exposed and briefly fell down the order. Undeterred, Jake bounced back and fought his way back through the order – passing Turkington, Morgan and Thompson to get back to 4th place and back on the tail of Sutton.
With a few laps remaining, Jake pulled off a brave and calculated move down the inside of Sutton into Sheene Curve to take third place and another podium finish.
Starting from third place for race two, Jake again got a strong start and remained behind the two leaders as they battled for position. Passing Butcher with a textbook move up the inside into Druids on lap eight, Jake then began hunting down the race and championship leader Ingram.
Filling up the mirrors of Ingram lap after lap, Jake couldn’t find a clear way past his rival and settled for a second-place finish at the flag.
The final race of the season saw Jake handed a 9th place starting position in the reverse grid draw and he trailed Ingram by 11 points in the standings with 22 points on offer – with Sutton just one point behind.
Despite getting a great start, Jake found himself boxed in with nowhere to go and Ingram was able to pass Jake. Replicating his great overtake from earlier, Jake dived down the inside on Ingram at Sheene Curve and began hunting down the leaders to keep his title hopes alive.
With a train of cars gathering behind Sutton, Jake knew he had to get past and eventually got alongside Sutton heading down the finishing straight. Charging into Paddock Hill Bend, the two touched and this put Jake wide, opening the door for Ingram who gave Jake a further nudge. Running wide onto the gravel, Jake lost a few positions and with only a handful of laps remaining – there wasn’t enough time to mount a chargeback through.
Crossing the finishing line in 7th place, Jake secured 3rd in the Drivers’ Championship with Ingram taking the title. Jake’s valiant efforts this season helped BMW claim the Manufacturers’ title, and ROKiT MB Motorsport 5th in the Teams’ Championship – despite being the only one-car entry in the 14-team field.
Jake Hill, #24 ROKiT MB Motorsport:
“That’s 2022 BTCC complete, we didn’t get the title but P3 in the championship is something I am still very proud to have achieved this year. I left nothing on the table at the grand finale this weekend, big congrats to Tom Ingram on his first championship. I cannot thank ROKiT MB Motorsport and West Surrey Racing enough for everything we have done and achieved this year. This team truly feels like home and I am so proud of that. I feel I have come on massively as a driver this year and hopefully, we can continue that next year. Thank you to the fans for being so supportive and to all my friends, family, and partners for making it all possible.
Mark Blundell, Sporting Director, MB Motorsport:
“We finish the season with our heads held high! It may not have been the result he wanted, but we are so proud of Jake for what he has achieved this year. A huge thank you to our partners for their support throughout the campaign, without them we wouldn’t have had the success we have had. Big thank you to Dick Bennetts and all of the WSR team, working with you all has been a huge pleasure.”