MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill described his Thruxton weekend as ‘damage limitation’ after he edged marginally closer to the top of the British Touring Car Championship standings.
Hill secured a trio of points finishes in Hampshire, but missed out on extending his podium run to a third meeting in a row, claiming two fourths and a 12th from Sunday’s races.
The 28-year-old may have qualified three tenths off pole in third, but he was easily the best rear-wheel drive performer, being the only driver in the top 13 places with that drivetrain configuration.
Dropping to fourth at the start of race one, Hill held that position to the chequered flag – before repeating the result in the second race of the day.
Drawn to start from eighth on the partially-reversed race three grid, Hill was forced out wide on the exit of Segrave corner on the opening lap, dropping him to 15th.
The WSR driver then fought back to 12th by the chequered flag, meaning he leaves Thruxton having moved a point closer to the top of the drivers’ standings, with the gap reduced to 23 points to stable-mate Colin Turkington.
“This weekend was a case of damage limitation as we knew this circuit wouldn’t favour us as much as it did our rivals but the team still did a fantastic job to give me a car capable of battling at the front,” said Hill.
“I was extremely pleased with my qualifying performance, I don’t think there was anything else I could have extracted from the car in that session!
“When we got to the end of race two and I was only ten points off the championship lead, I was really happy.
“I knew race three was going to be tough because the reversed grid put me back in the pack, but I was still pretty sure I could minimise the points I’d lose.
“I struggled a bit to stay with the top three guys in race one, and WSR and ROKiT MB Motorsport made the BMW a lot better for race two so I was pleased there.
“I started well in race three but I got put on the grass coming into Segrave on the first lap. All you want is a car’s width, but I didn’t have that.
“From there it was just a case of getting back whatever points I could. I’m closer than I was – only by a point – but it’s a small gain.
“We now head for Silverstone, a circuit I have fond memories of and definitely one of the highlights of the year. The championship is still really tight and we’re still pushing for that title!”