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Jake Hill ‘ecstatic’ to secure front row starting position

MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill believed he extracted ‘the absolute maximum’ from his BMW in qualifying for the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Silverstone.

Hill put his car in second on the grid for the opening race, missing out on pole position to Rory Butcher by just 0.037 seconds.

With just 4.5 seconds of hybrid boost available to him in qualifying, Hill felt that he had achieved all he could with his lap, with his next two quickest times also being good enough for the front row.

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The 28-year-old sits fourth in the drivers’ standings with just six races to go, and he is seeking to close the 23-point deficit to championship leader and stable-mate Colin Turkington.

“I’m ecstatic,” said Hill. “We extracted the absolute maximum from the BMW given how little hybrid we had here compared to most of the cars around us.

“Huge thanks to WSR and ROKiT MB Motorsport for a fantastic BMW. To do this with my Race Engineer Craig [Porley] not here because he’s not well is quite an achievement.

“I have to give him huge credit for making sure the car was set-up perfectly before we even came here, and to Dick [Bennetts] and Rob [Davidson, data engineer] for looking after me here plus Craig for his input on the phone.

“I did that great time early on which put me second just behind Rory and that time stayed for a while, but I had another go right at the end and I went four-hundredths of a second faster.

“I thought ‘have I done it?’ but no, not quite. Gutted to not have beaten Rory, but at least it’s him on the front row and not one of my championship competitors.

“The aim for tomorrow is to score big points and I’m sure we can do that. It’s exactly what we need to close right in on the championship lead before the final round at Brands Hatch.”

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