An exciting race day awaits at Brands Hatch Indy for the MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square squad, as Jake Hill qualified in P3 with Ollie Jackson in P19 across a topsy-turvy Saturday for the Motorbase Performance-run squad.
Arriving at the team’s home circuit of Brands Hatch, the team were hoping to build on their positive start to the season as they made their shortest journey of the season to the Kent-based track.
Sunshine and dry conditions greeted the team and the 4,000 fans trackside at the 1.208 mile circuit. Working their way through their respective programme’s, the first running of the morning saw Jake Hill close out the session in P9 while Ollie Jackson found himself in P24 despite being only six tenths off.
The second session was equally as tight with just over a second separating the entire grid as the field fought it out at the season’s shortest circuit. With both drivers improving their earlier times, Jake finished in P17 with a 48.978 while Ollie landed in P25 with a 49.281. Naturally, both drivers were working hard with their team to optimise their set up ahead of qualifying.
Having searched for improvements throughout the morning, the all-important qualifying session rolled around on Saturday afternoon. The early exchanges boded well for the MB Motorsport pair with an early couple of fliers taking both Jake and Ollie to the top of the timesheets.
As the times fell across the board, it was Jake who managed to hold onto P1 with a fantastic lap of 48.179. Unfortunately for Ollie, his best lap time was deleted for exceeding track limits and ultimately his best time of 48.617 would be enough to claim a P19 starting position at the close of the session.
With less than ten minutes remaining, Jake was clinging onto top spot but it was the teammates of Daniel Rowbottom and Gordon Shedden who would squeeze the home hero out. Still, a P3 starting position represented a remarkable upturn from the morning’s fortunes and is Jake’s best ever BTCC qualifying result at his home track.
Ollie Jackson – Qualified P19 – #48 MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square:
“It’s been a bit of a battle today. I think like many across the grid, we’ve been searching for the optimal setup today and then we just couldn’t hook it together in qualifying. Naturally, the margins around this place are so fine that I am going to have to get my head down tomorrow and try to pick my way through. We’ve shown we can do that already this season, and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it.”
Jake Hill – Qualified P3 – #24 MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square:
“From the morning we had today, that is a fantastic turnaround. I owe a lot to Craig, my engineer, and the team around me who seemed to reinvent the wheel between FP2 and qualifying. I was coming over the radio before I’d crossed the line on my fastest lap, as I knew it was a good one that would be up there. I’d have bitten your hands off for a second-row start earlier today, so now we have to make the most of it and convert this into a strong weekend.”
Mark Blundell – Sporting Director, MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square:
“All the team have put in a huge effort today. We have had to be really thorough in our evaluation because there was a bit of disappointment this morning but nobody wins anything on Saturday morning and we looked to have turned it around. There’ll be changes tomorrow, as there always are, but we are in the fight.”