Jake Hill lamented a missed opportunity in the British Touring Car Championship races at Thruxton last weekend, although the MB Motorsport driver admitted it had been a ‘solid showing’ in races two and three.
Hill qualified his Honda Civic in a strong fifth places for race one, just over two and a half tenths off pole on the fast Thruxton circuit.
The 26-year-old was running in fifth early on in the race until his right-rear tyre punctured on lap four after earlier contact with Tom Chilton in which the BTC Racing driver hit the side of Hill’s Honda.
Forced to make a pitstop, Hill dropped a lap down and ultimately took the chequered flag in 22nd, giving him a tough starting position for race two.
With team-mate Sam Osborne alongside after also pitting in race one, Hill gained 11 places – being the joint top gainer in the race – to finish in 11th place in race two.
Although the reverse-grid race three saw only the top eight switched, and Hill thus starting outside the top ten, he made two places by the end of the race, despite dropping back at the start, to cap off his weekend with a ninth place finish.
Hill was positive about his weekend despite his speed not being reflected in the results he took away from the event.
“We didn’t get the results I think we deserved today,” said Hill, “but it’s still been my best Thruxton weekend in terms of how I’ve driven.
“It’s a shame with what happened in race one but, we did well in race two to make up a lot of places and had a clean run in race three.
“This has still been a solid showing for us and the car hasn’t missed a beat.
“We’ve lost a little bit of success ballast as a result of this weekend which will be a bonus heading to Silverstone and I think we’ll be quick there and can push for some strong results.”
Team Principal Shaun Hollamby put Hill’s challenging weekend down to the luck of the draw in the BTCC when it comes to surviving contact.
“We’ve shown that we have the pace to run with the front pack again this weekend but unfortunately things didn’t fall our way on race day,” said Hollamby.
“The margins are so fine in the BTCC and on another day, the contact Jake had in race one wouldn’t have had an impact and he’d have been able to finish near the front and collect three strong points finishes.”
Hill has fallen to joint tenth in the drivers’ championship standings after Thruxton, equal with Senna Proctor on 85 points.