Hill Wins Independent Class and Takes Debut Podium in Brands BTCC Thriller
Trade Price Cars Brisky Racing Team HARD driver Jake Hill Celebrates his Debut Independant’s BTCC Win
In a frantic and thrilling Dunlop MSA British Touring Car race two at Brands Hatch, BRDC ‘Rising Star’ Jake Hill ‘rolled the dice’ and took the decision to put ‘slick’ dry weather tyres on, gambling on a drying track, a gamble which resulted in tTrade Price Cars Brisky Racing’s 24 year-old star driver charging from 25th on the grid to a career-best Podium finish.
The opening weekend of the 60th Anniversary season of the UK’s premier motorsport season provided three different winners in three races, and in race two all three drivers took their debut podiums…arguably the happiest and most unpredictable result, and a huge turnaround for Hill and his team after a tough race one.
“Qualifying was frustrating, and race one saw contact with my team mate Mike (Bushell) which was tough. But on the grid for race two my team manager Jamie and I said over the radio ‘On three say which tyres…3-2-1- ‘SLICKS’….!!!! So we went for it…from 25th on the grid we didn’t have much to lose, and very quickly I realised we had made the right choice”
Hill and the other drivers that had chosen slick tyres had to be patient as in the early laps of the 27 lap race the track still favoured the wet-tyred runners, but by lap 11 – still in 26th place – Hill set the fastest lap of the race.
Both Hill and his Trade Price Cars Brisky Racing team-mate Mike Bushell were setting fastest laps of the race, and as the track continued to dry they started to make huge progress . along with the other ‘slick’ runners like Moffat, Procter and Boardman.
By lap 15 Hill was in the points in 15th place, five laps later he was in 6th place, and by now he was fighting with Moffat and Proctor – who had the faster Soft Option tyres on so had a huge advantage.
As the final few laps unfolded, a manic battle between Moffat, Proctor, Hill and Ollie Jackson in the AmD Audi S3 ensued, with Moffat running wide and bouncing off of Proctor, meaning the 19 year-old Vauxhall Astra driver was leading as they entered the final couple of laps.
The top-four drivers – Proctor, Hill, Jackson and Boardman crossed the line nose to tail, in one of the most thrilling Dunlop MSA BTCC races seen, all three Podium finishers achieving their first silverware in the series.
Hill challenged Proctor hard but ultimately took a Debut Dunlop MSA BTCC Podium, and crucially a first-ever Independant’s Category Win (for non-manufacturer teams) and as a team Trade Price Cars Brisky Racing were the highest scoring team, and Hill was the highest finisher in the Jack Sears Trophy category.
“Oh my word that was CRAZY! We decided last-minute to go to slicks, it was always going to be sketchy, but very early on I knew we’d made the right choice. The car was mega, I had a look at passing both Proctor and Moffat but they were so defensive so it wasn’t worth the risk. I am beyond happy! I am so, so grateful to so many people who have helped me get to this point – obviously the legendary Tony Gilham and the boys at Team HARD, especially Geoff (Kingston) and Jamie, Josh, Carl, Nathan and Gary who have been on my car….my amazing supporters. I have to say I would not be racing in anything – let alone BTCC – without their help.
“I’m worried I will forget anyone – but my 2018 partners Rolec Racing, Trade Price Cars, the awesome Richard Wheeler from Brisky Racing, Ecoflam, Danfoss, Bill Rawles Classic Cars, AWS Appliance Spares, Scoria Tech, Zynth, Jakob Ebrey Photos, Spine Optics, P1 Nutrition, Tech Max Pro Gear, Torq, Luke at the BRDC,….but the one person who has been with me since the beginning, from Ginetta Juniors in 2010 to now and has never, ever let me down is my ‘Papa Smurf’…John Miskin from Sportif Motor Group…..I am so unbelievably grateful for everyone’s love and support ……Tony Gilham and the whole Team HARD crew have believed in me since 2016, I love this team, I love Tony, Gary, Jamie, Sam and everyone…David Boor and Andrea and the Fantham family and the whole crew are amazing! I am so HAPPY!!!!!!’
Final word to team principle Tony Gilham “Jake joined us in 2016…I was sure he had the talent to get us results…he very quickly proved us right and today has shown we made the right decision sticking with him. He is a fantastic talent, he’s great in and out of the car, and it means so vey much to all of us, our partners and all the boys and girls working with us to get a result like this. We have worked so incredibly hard to get here…Mike, Bobby and Cainey have done so well too….but Jake has got us our first Independent Win in 2018. It means the world. So happy. So very, very happy!”
Next race – Donington – 29th April