Jake Hill enjoys ‘best-ever BTCC weekend’ at Knockhill

Jake Hill enjoyed his strongest weekend to-date in the British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill, as the MB Motorsport driver moved to just 14 points from the top of the drivers’ standings.

Having qualified on pole for the second time in his BTCC career on Saturday, Hill lead the first lap of race on on Sunday but came under early pressure from Ash Sutton as the tyres of his rear-wheel drive BMW took longer to warm up.

That led to Sutton taking the lead on lap two, but Hill then began to apply the pressure in the following laps as his car started to show more pace than the leading Ford.

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Hill made contact with the back of Sutton’s car on lap six, before finally getting back into the lead on lap nine, where he stayed thereafter in an intense fight with Sutton.

After picking up his second win of the season, Hill looked set to repeat the feat in race two, but a mistake at the chicane on lap five saw him run through the gravel and gift the lead to Sutton.

Later on, Hill briefly dropped behind team-mate Colin Turkington, before pressing on in the closing stages and just missing out on another win by just 0.141 seconds – the closest race finish of the year so far.

Hill started sixth for race three and after gaining two places on the opening lap he was up in fourth, although he briefly lost a place to Sutton. Later in the race, Hill passed team-mate Turkington for third, before his stronger tyres meant he could catch and pass Toyota’s Rory Butcher for second with just two laps to go.

With 58 points scored, the weekend was Hill’s best in the BTCC to-date and moves him up to fourth overall in an increasingly tight drivers’ title battle.

“I don’t know quite where to start after that,” said Hill. “It’s the best weekend I’ve ever had in the BTCC and I owe so much to the whole team.

“The car has been fantastic all weekend, they’ve given me everything possible and I am so happy that I could make it count for them and everyone at ROKiT MB Motorsport.

“Once the tyres came up to temperature in race one the BMW came alive and I had the speed to win.

“Race two was still a great result, but one I’m a bit annoyed with because the barrier at the chicane got moved and that meant my reference point changed, so I was taking it wrong every lap, made a mistake and lost the lead.

“But race three was great, there was some very clear communication between the engineers on the pitwall that got me past Colin and finished second again, so a huge thank you to the team for making that happen.”

Hill is keen to keep his championship momentum going after standing on the podium in all three races in Scotland.

“We’ve made a massive stride in the championship, but this has to set the standard now, we’ve got to keep pushing because it is all to play for.”

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