Jake Hill said his Ford Focus ST was ‘faultless’ after he claimed the first victory for MB Motorsport in the British Touring Car Championship at Croft, which has helped him to move closer to the top of the championship table.
Hill was one of the form drivers of the weekend, coming second only to Aiden Moffat in terms of the number of points scored.
After qualifying in a career-best equalling second on Saturday, Hill kept Moffat honest in the opening race to finish second and bag a sixth podium finish of the season.
Despite carrying 66 kg of success ballast into race two, Hill fought past Moffat for the lead on the opening lap and never looked back, winning by a comfortable 5.5 seconds as Moffat’s Infiniti acted as a ‘cork in the bottle’ behind.
Drawn to start the reverse grid race from seventh, Hill ultimately finished where he started after driving a defensive race with the full 75 kg of ballast on board, in a race which featured little overtaking amongst the top eight drivers.
Having moved to 29 points from points leader Ash Sutton – a gain of ten points on his rival – Hill delighted in a ‘fantastic’ weekend for him and the team.
“You’d have to go back to my Junior days to have something as easy as that,” said Hill of his race two victory. “I’m over the moon – a huge credit to all these guys at MB Motorsport, they’ve done a fantastic job.
“The car was faultless even with the weight in – it was easy to manage, and the tyres stayed with me right to the end.
“The strong deficit that we have compared to the rear-wheel drives is on the opening laps. I respect Aiden because he left me the room where I needed it and vice versa and I managed to squeeze through.
“Once I got into the lead we had a safety car, which was fine, I managed that, and then off I went, got my head down and cracked on with it. It was absolutely fantastic!
“Overall, it’s been a fantastic weekend – we’ve done just about all we can, clawed back some ground in the championship fight and pulled ourselves up to second in the standings.
“That’s what we are going to have to do with every remaining round, but we are properly in the fight and it feels like the momentum is building.”
Mark Blundell, the Sporting Director of MB Motorsport, praised the team for their efforts in securing the outfit’s maiden win, in particular that of Motorbase Performance, which prepares the cars of Hill and Ollie Jackson.
“I am so pleased for everyone today,” said Blundell. “Everyone involved in the team in every role deserves that victory, and Jake drove so dominantly to deliver it and I know how much it meant to him.
“For MB Motorsport, a BTCC outright win is a new territory and I want to thank Motorbase Performance and all our incredible partners for helping make it possible.”