Maintaining his 100% finishing record in the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, and his lead in the Dunlop #ForeverForward category for most places gained, Trade Price Cars Brisky Racing’s Jake Hill battled into the championship points in the final race of the weekend at Oulton Park.
Having qualified a season’s best P21 Hill struggled in race one with the balance of the car, finishing P23, and heading to the pitlane minutes before race two had the car’s differential fail.
Incredibly Hill’s crew sprinted into action and with just seconds to spare managed to change the ‘diff’ and get Hill into the pitlane, being allowed to join the grid, but start P31and last.
“As frustrating as it is to have a failure, at least it happened when and where it did. I could not believe the job the boys did – Jamie, Josh, Carl, Nathan and the rest of the lads were amazing – I can’t thank them enough – even my Dad helped – admittedly only by holding up the bonnet! – but they got me out there and that was incredible!”
Determined to make up places on a circuit notoriously difficult to pass, Hill had a sensational start – moving up 7 places by the first corner – and gaining further places when Oliphant, Cook and Jelley hit problems. Later as Boardman dropped back, it meant a further gain, and a final finish of P21, again fighting hard.
So for there final race of the weekend, BRDC ‘Rising Star’ Hill was determined to score some points, however was fortunate not to be caught up in a spectacular start-line accident which saw Oliphant, Butcher, Smiley and Lloyd all tangle and retire with massive damage – fortunately all were ok – but the race was stopped to clear up the debris.
At the re-start, Hill immediately gained a place from Plato, ending lap one on target and already in the points in P15.
As Cammish and Smith dropped back, Hill was setting quick lap times, and capitalised on Neal running wide before catching Proctor and pulling off a sensational pass into Old Hall, slicing by in a brave late-braking pass, now P10.
Charging hard and now on the back of his team-mate Bushell, a last-lap surge saw Ingram pass Cole, who ran wide and lost time, allowing Hill to catch and dive for the inside, tapping the back of Cole and passing him for P9.
Afterwards though the officials reversed the positions leaving Hill P10, but still very satisfied to have proved his race craft and determination yet again, and taking his third points score of the season.
“The car was SO good in that race! Back to when it was strong here last year, if we can get the car like this in qualifying from now on we could be in really good shape! It was frustrating to have the place reversed at the end, James moved over very late ‘cos he ran wide at the previous corner, so one of those things but still really pleased with that race. Hugely grateful to all our fantastic partners who joined us at Oulton – Trade Price Cars, Oodle, ClickDealer, Ecoflam…our new partners ABGO and my friend Graham Saul from Cloud 9 Hosts, plus those not here like ROLEC,Brisky Racing, Sportif Cars, Danfoss, Scoria Tech, Bill Rawles Classic Cars, Zynth, Spine Optics, P1 Nutrition – great to do well for everyone!”
Next race – Croft – June 23/24th – Qualifying live on itv.com/btcc
“The Car Felt Really Strong” – Team HARD’s Benjamin Wallace Pleased With The Opening Weekend For the 2018 British GT Championship.
Southport-based Benjamin Wallace enjoyed a confident start to his 2018 British GT Championship campaign despite the wet weather at the opening rounds of the series at Oulton Park. Wallace, driver of the #88 Team HARD Ginetta G55 GT4 he shared with William Phillips, left the Cheshire circuit full of optimism for the rest of the season. The weekend, and especially race-day (Bank Holiday Monday – April 2) had been hampered with rain which ultimately led to the abandonment of the meeting shortly after the delayed start for second race of the day for the British GT grid.
The #88 Team HARD Ginetta G55 GT4, piloted by Phillips and Wallace, had qualified eighth in the GT4S class for Monday’s first 60-minute race, which itself had a delayed start and ran behind the safety-car for the first three laps due to the wet circuit.
Despite the challenges of the damp track, Ben Wallace, and co-driver William Phillips, finished seventh in the GT4 Silver class in Round One of premier national GT series.
Benjamin Wallace was pleased at the outcome of the weekend.
“It was the second time I had driven at Oulton Park in the Ginetta so I was still getting familiar with it. William and I worked on finding a good set-up for the car and we were pleased with how the car improved, and the lap-times we set, as the weekend progressed,” said the Bolton College student.
“The team had continued to work on the set-up after the first race and, going into Round Two, the car felt really strong and a great improvement on where we had been on Friday on Saturday so, yes, it was frustrating to drive behind the safety-car for thirty minutes. However the safety of drivers and marshals is paramount so Will and I completely understood why the decision was made to red-flag the race.”
The British GT Championship now moves to Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby for Round Three on April 28 – 29, a circuit that Benjamin Wallace is familiar with from his time in the VW Racing Cup and the VAG Trophy, in which he finished third in 2017.
“I’ve raced at Rockingham in the VWs and I had a good weekend there, finishing second and third,” said Benjamin. “It’s now about getting used to it again in the Ginetta G55 GT4, a rear-wheel drive car which is very different to the front-wheel drive Golfs I drove there previously. I’m looking forward to it and I’m taking a lot of confidence to Rockingham Motor Speedway.”
Photos: Ian Cutting Photography
Team HARD. are very excited to announce that following a very successful test last Friday at Snetterton, Adam Hatfield will race Jake Hill’s Toyota Avensis BTCC car as it completed the 2016 season in this weekend’s Britcar Sprint category at Oulton Park on the International Circuit.
Adam has been racing for us for the second half of this season and has impressed everyone with his all-round performance both on and off track. He has competed in the British GT Championship at the wheel of one of our Ginetta G55 machines as well as debuting our VW Passat CC Cup car recently at Donington Park in Britcar taking a win in class at his first attempt.
Tony said “Adam has a very professional attitude to racing and brings with it the pace and consistency that is an essential ingredient in become a top-level racing driver. We are assessing many options for 2018 and have some amazing opportunities that we can work on together. For now, we focus on this coming weekend and it will be very interesting to see how it fairs against the other cars in class such as a current TCR specification car and so on. “
Adam added “I’m really excited to be racing the Toyota Avensis BTCC car this weekend at Oulton in Briotcar. Last week’s testing at Snetterton was great and I started to feel comfortable in the car more and more as the day progressed. A big thanks to Tony and the team for this unique opportunity to race what is a current spec touring car.”
The Toyota Avensis will compete in full BTCC 2016 race trim with the GPRM specification sub frame and suspension components. The Britcar Championship allows us to make use of what is a very special car and one that is rare now that most people have updated their cars to the latest RML specification. We are very much looking forward to seeing the car back on track especially in the Teams own colours.