Team HARD’s Jake Hill said scoring his first-ever British Touring Car Championship podium at Brands Hatch was a moment he’ll never forget.
The Kent driver took the gamble to run slicks on his Volkswagen CC, and it paid dividends as he finished second in what was a memorable race, with all three podium finishers recording their first BTCC silverware.
“I’m absolutely over the moon,” Hill told TouringCars.Net. “It was so emotional – I’ve never quite felt like that in my life I don’t think.
“To cross the line with the boys screaming down the radio is something very special, and something I’ll never forget.”
The 24-year-old was hopeful of a strong result in race three, lining up fifth on the grid.
But his race was over before it had started, as contact with Aiden Moffat’s Mercedes on the green flag lap broke his rear suspension.
“Of course I’m disappointed because it would have been nice to get another top ten finish in the last one which we could well have done.
“I didn’t expect to be driven into on the warm up lap. That’s not the nicest feeling in the world, especially when you’re that high up.
“But I’m very happy still at the end of the day.”
Hill felt he didn’t have the outright pace in his VW all weekend, but that made scoring a podium in the changing conditions even more special.
“It was just the right call,” Hill explains. “It’s not that we were mega quick or anything, we were just good in the damp in race two and we just did what we had to do and got on the podium – my first podium.
“It’s not the best circuit for us, but we didn’t qualify well, race one was terrible for both me and Mike [Bushell]. But we made the right call in the end for race two, and it just worked.”
After being marred by bad luck in the past, Hill felt a sense of relief getting his first podium.
“I’m so happy – talking to you now – I’m getting over the race three [retirement], it is what it is.
“We’ll go to Donington, we’ll be faster for sure, the car is very well suited to the circuit.
“We’ll hopefully replicate getting on the podium again, which would be nice!”