Another weekend to forget to be honest….
Qualifying – pole! (Only good part about this)
Race 1 – disaster. We got a decent original start dropping to 2nd by turn to but as a move was presented the red flags came out and the race was stopped. (Driver of the incident was ok) we took the restart and spun the wheels to much off the line which dropped me down to third, we got back into second by turn for and start chasing down the leader… coming through grace lands I got a great run on Martin as he covered the inside line he caught me by surprise braking quite early so I was stranded on the outside of Tarzan hairpin, we run out of road and spun onto the grass, we dropped down to 11th once we recovered and was 15 seconds behind the leaders with a raced reduced to 15mins we had a huge amount of work to do.. which we did pretty well I fought my way back up to 5th and on the back of the leading pack a few more laps and we would have got on the podium but it wasn’t to be. But we sure showed our pace taking near on a second a lap out of the leading pack.
Race 2 – even more or a disaster. After finishing 5th in race 1 we were starting 2nd on the reverse grid, a great start saw me in the lead by turn one. By the end of lap one we was over a second in the lead after 10 mins of the race we had a very comfortable 3 second lead….. the race was under control and I felt confident for the win.. until coming into grace lands a car had gone off into the barriers and was on the grass I saw the yellow flags so backed off slightly as it was a single waved yellow so wasn’t expecting anything on the circuit, but the car had thrown coolent/oil all over the track, me being first through saw no red and yellow flag warning me of a slippery surface and it through me off and into the gravel to which we could not restart after the red flag. Another DNF for me in race 2.
There are still a lot of positives to take from this weekend as we really showed our pace and what myself and the team can do.
I know every driver thanks there sponsors but I cannot thank Wrightsure insurance and oakleaf heating enough for the support over this weekend! Always there to lift my spirits and make me look at the positives they truly are the best company’s to have support from and I’m truly honoured to have you guys by my side.
Another thankyou to team hard racing and alex my engineer alex, for always giving me such a great car, sorry the results aren’t there but they will come.
And last but not least thank you to my family and especially my mum and dad for there support we have had a really hard time as a family the last few months but we all pull together to stick by one another, RIP Uncle Barry we all miss you.
Fleet livery solutions
Team hard racing
Roll on Snetterton where hopefully our luck will change
After being relegated to the back of the 32-car grid in qualifying, Trade Price Cars Brisky Racing driver Jake Hill demonstrated superb race craft and determination, charging up to a remarkable 17th place in race one, topping this with a drive from 22nd on the grid in to finish 10th in the day’s final race, and with it take the Jack Sears Trophy along with the Dunlop #ForeverForward award for most overtakes over the three races.
A ride-height infringement during Saturday’s wet qualifying saw Hill’s times disallowed whilst 10th on the grid, the team subsequently working hard to ensure he had a strong car for the three races – all which turned out to be dry.
“Of course it was hugely frustrating to lose the qualifying times, but my engineers and I sat down and worked out a set-up for the races, and my focus was on keeping out of trouble and finishing as well as possible in race one”
Some daring overtakes – all captured by ITV4 HD’s ‘on-board’ cameras – and dramas for other drivers saw Hill quickly up to P18, then a battle with Jordan’s BMW, then passing Nash’s Honda on the final lap resulted in a hard-earned 17th.
“The plan worked – I kept out of trouble, had a couple of good battles, and we are making progress” smiled Hill.
Starting 17th on the ‘Option’ hard Dunlop SportMaxx tyre for race two, a number of fierce battles, some braking issues and the tyre losing performance meant Hill was frustrated to finish 22nd, but pleased he was still in contention.
“We struggled a bit in that one, the ‘Hard’ tyre was ok initially and we were on for a possible P12, but the performance dropped off so quickly, I got pushed off line and lost a load of time, but at least we finished in sensible shape”
Having changed the brakes for the final race, and now back on the preferred ‘Prime’ tyre, BRDC ‘Rising Star’ Hill made a strong start and then benefitted from other drivers going off and having problems ahead – contact between Motorbase team-mates Cole and Tordoff bringing out a Safety Car, with Hill now running in P17.
A strong re-start saw Hill quickly pass Jackson, then Goff hit problems, and on lap 12 of 19 a brave and committed move – captured on Hill’s on board camera – saw him pass Austin around the outside and at one point on the grass at the fearsome Craner Curves, for many watching this being the move of the day.
As the laps ran down, Butcher dropped back and a frantic battle with WTCC Independent Champion Tom Chilton’s Ford Focus RS, saw the pair cross the line nose-to-tail, Hill finishing in the points in a superb 10th overall.
“What a battle! The car was so much better – great work by Egor and Geoff, Jamie, Nathan, Roy and the lads for their hard work. Bit of an edgy move with Austin but fair play he gave me enough room, then it was so close with me and Tom, but P10 is a crazy result after starting race one dead last! Huge thanks to Tony (Gilham) and the team, and of course my mega partners – we had guests here from ROLEC, Sportif Cars, AWS Appliance Spares, Ecoflam, Trade Price Cars, Brisky Racing plus friends and family – I’m SO pleased to have Won the Jack Sears and Forever Forward”
“My team-manager Jamie (Warren) was told on the radio by the officials that I’d Won the Jack Sears, but didn’t tell me, so it was a complete shock when I was given a Dunlop Winner’s cap and told to head to the podium! Almost half the grid are eligible for Jack Sears – and in the 60th Anniversary season of Jack winning the first-ever BTCC it means so much winning this round. I am 4th in the standings now, 9th in Independent’s and leading the Dunlop #ForeverForward, so it shows that you have to focus on race day in BTCC. I still would rather have been on Pole though!”
Next Race – Thruxton – 19/20th May – Races LIVE on ITV4HD and on-line at itv.com/btcc
Rockingham International Motor Speedway in Northampton is next on the agenda for British GT championship racer Anna Walewska.
Source: Ian Cutting Photography
The Hindhead-based driver rates the Corby venue as one of her favourite race tracks in the country with the mix of the high-speed outer banking and tricky infield area.
Racing for Team Hard this season, she has paired with Callum Hawkins-Row at the wheel of a Ginetta G55 GT4. The crew will be hoping to better their 5th finish in Pro/Am class they scored at the opening round at Oulton Park over the Easter weekend.
The Signal Surveyors-backed driver said: “In 2016 I had success racing here in British GT starting from the back of the grid, due to a mechanical failure in qualifying, and came through the pack to lead the race. I am looking forward to this years event. Callum really likes the circuit too and I can’t wait to get going.”
As an ambassador for Bolton University’s National Centre for Motorsport Engineering, Walewska, along with Team Hard’s experienced engineers and mechanics, will oversee on-the-job training for some of the students on the programme.
She added: “Students can apply what they learn in the class room at the track and it gives me great-pleasure to see how they develop through the season. You can’t beat hands on experience in this industry.”
Round three of the British GT Championship, on April 28/29, will take the format of a two-hour endurance race where each driver will share the driving for one hour.
“The best feeling ever’ was how 24 year-old Jake Hill described his maiden Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship podium, which also saw the Kent-based driver take victory in the Independent’s Category in a battling drive in round two of the 60th Anniversary edition of the series at Brands Hatch earlier this month.
Along with eventual race-winner Senna Proctor, fellow podium debutant Ollie Jackson and a handful of others, a gamble on Dunlop SportMaxx dry tyres enabled Hill to charge through the pack on a drying track and contribute to one of the series most thrilling races in many years, filling him and his Trade Price Cars Brisky Racing squad with confidence for Donington Park.
“We had that amazing race two, but two very frustrating races either side which I’m sure could have given us more points but for other driver’s mistakes, but that’s done now so on to Donington. Both Mike (Bushell) and I scored well at Brands so we’re well up in the Independent Teams and Drivers points. We both felt the car was strong when we ran at Donington for the Season Launch, plus Mike tested at Thruxton recently and was bang on the pace there too”
Most importantly for Hill was the boost the results have given to the loyal group of partners that have made it possible for him to compete in the BTCC for the third consecutive season.
“It’s been tough getting things together, so to get that result – and the publicity it gained – this early in the season is huge for us. Tony (Gilham) and everyone at Team HARD have been so supportive in giving me the chance in BTCC and without them I wouldn’t be racing, and likewise the incredible folks at ROLEC, Trade Price Cars, Sportif Group, Danfoss, Ecoflam, Bill Rawles Classic Cars, AWS Appliance Spares, Scoria Tech and of course Brisky Racing.
“We have Dean from ROLEC, plus Mark from Ecoflam – fresh from finishing the London Marathon last week – and Richard from Brisky Racing along with John from Sportif and Dan from Trade Price Cars and Andy from AWS, they’re all coming to Donington and bringing guests along so let’s hope we can have another strong weekend for them to cheer”
Hill was in the top-three in both practice sessions and qualified 6th at Donington last year, before a rear-wing infringement relegated him to the back of the grid, so is determined to put it right this year.
“I love the circuit, I won here in Ginetta Juniors and Ginetta Supercup so it’s time I did the same in BTCC!”
After a positive start to the British GT Championship season at Oulton Park over the Easter weekend, 18-year old Southport-based Benjamin Wallace, driver of the #88 Team HARD Ginetta G55 GT4, is looking forward to Round Three at Rockingham International Motor Speedway on April 29.
The Lips Reifen-backed driver recently competed at Corby circuit in the opening roundof the Britcar Dunlop Endurance Championship, with team-mate Graham Roberts, finishing fifth and seventh in class over the two races.
“Competing in Britcar definitely benefited me in learning the track in the Ginetta,” said Benjamin. “The VW Golf I had driven before at Rockingham was a very different proposition so it was interesting driving the circuit in a rear-wheel drivecar. It complimented the simulator training that I’ve been doing so I feel that my preparation for this important race has been good.”
Benjamin will be keeping a close eye on tyres this weekend, given the weather forecast of changeable conditions.
“There is a risk that it might be raining throughout the whole weekend so tyre wear may not be as much of an issue’” said Benjamin. “It could all change in the next few days however. Even if it’s wet we still have to manage the tyres so it will be interesting.”
Round Three of the British GT Championship will be Benjamin’s third two-hour race.
“Aside from Britcar two weeks ago, my previous two-hour race was at Brands Hatch last season,” said Benjamin. “However my recent experience at Rockingham has increased my confidence hugely and I’m feeling very positive about returning to Corby with Team HARD. The grid will be packed and there are a lot of good drivers in the championship but I’ve prepared well and I’m looking forward to a very productive weekend.”
The lights go out for Round Three of the 2018 British GT Championship at 13:10 on April 29.