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Jake Hill storms to rain-affected race two win despite jump-start penalty

Laser Tools Racing’s Jake Hill doubled up with a dominant drive in a rain-affected second British Touring Car Championship race at Snetterton, despite being handed a ten-second time penalty for a jump start.

A torrential downpour just before the scheduled start of the race saw a delay to proceedings, as circuit officials worked to clear blocked drains and move standing water off the Norfolk circuit.

When racing eventually got underway 50 minutes later than planned, most of the top drivers elected to start on wet tyres.

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Those who went for the slick rubber were Toyota’s Rob Huff, from ninth on the grid, and Restart Racing’s Chris Smiley, starting in 18th.

Then, at the end of the formation lap, NAPA Racing UK’s Ash Sutton made a late dive for the pitlane, swiftly followed by EXCELR8 Motorsport’s Tom Ingram, Team BMW’s Colin Turkington and NAPA team-mate Daniel Rowbottom.

Leaving several vacant grid positions, as the lights went out Hill made a subtle false start, but it was enough to trigger stable-mate Bobby Thompson to react and make the same mistake.

That resulted in both drivers swiftly being handed a ten-second time penalty, as the slick-shod runners began to leave the pitlane following the wet-shod pack – Sutton first out of the pits with a gap to Ingram caused by an issue with the pit lane exit light.

Toyota’s Andrew Watson was the biggest mover at the start, jumping up to second as a poor start from Thompson saw him drop to fourth behind NAPA Racing’s Dan Cammish.

In the initial laps, the wet-shod drivers had the advantage. However, by the time the conditions started to change and dry up enough for the slick runners to go faster, Hill was already 35 seconds ahead of the leading slick runner of Huff in 12th.

The wet runners were handed a lifeline when rain began to fall again at the halfway stage, resulting in the slick-shod racers falling over 15 seconds per lap off the pace once again.

Hill, meanwhile, had pressed on and was extending his lead by over a second a lap, and by the end of lap seven he had enough of a margin over Watson to nullify his time penalty.

As conditions got wetter, Watson then fell off the circuit two laps later at the Esses, handing second to Cammish and dropping the Speedworks driver to seventh.

By the chequered flag, Hill held an advantage of over 16 seconds from Cammish, allowing him to keep the win despite his penalty officially reducing his margin to 6.260 seconds.

Speedworks’ Josh Cook completed the podium in third, the Toyota racer leaping from 14th on the grid up to sixth on the opening lap, before gaining a place when BMW’s Adam Morgan pitted for slicks on lap two.

Cook ran in fifth for much of the race, becoming fourth when Watson went off and finally third after Thompson’s penalty was applied.

EXCELR8 Motorsport’s Tom Chilton was initially fourth, following a similar trajectory to Cook and benefitting from the issues for Morgan, Watson and Thompson ahead, as well as passing Power Maxed Racing’s Mikey Doble on lap six. However, he was later penalised by five seconds for gaining an unfair advantage on Doble, and reclassified in fifth.

Doble took the flag in fifth in his Vauxhall, which became fourth after Chilton’s penalty, ahead of the recovering Watson in sixth.

Thompson was classified in seventh after his penalty, having tried desperately to get ahead of Cammish in the closing laps.

Speedworks’ Aiden Moffat, NAPA Racing’s Sam Osborne and Unlimited Motorsport’s Daryl DeLeon completed the top ten after relatively quiet races.

Victory for Hill hauls him right back into the championship mix, just eight points behind leader Sutton, who failed to score. The decision for Sutton to pit for slicks backfired, before he went off the circuit twice on lap ten, including in the barriers at Williams, before completing the race on wets and finishing in last.

Ingram followed his title rival and was out of the points in 16th, just behind BMW’s Turkington, who got by the Hyundai driver on the final lap to salvage a point.

EXCELR8’s Nick Halstead withdrew before the race due to suffering from food poisoning.

The reverse-grid draw for the final race of the day, which is scheduled to get underway at 17:10 BST, sees the top nine reversed, handing Osborne pole position ahead of Moffat, Thompson, Watson etc.

Revised race results*

1 24 M Jake HILL Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport BMW 330e M Sport 12 26:43.848 2:08.749 1
2 27 M Dan CAMMISH NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST 12 6.260 2:10.479 4
3 66 M Josh COOK LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ Toyota Corolla GR Sport 12 9.974 2:10.158 14
4 88 I Mikey DOBLE Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra 12 14.794 2:10.622 13
5* 3 M Tom CHILTON* BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai i30 N Fastback 12 15.696 2:10.687 15
6 11 M Andrew WATSON TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK Toyota Corolla GR Sport 12 16.626 2:10.319 5
7 19 M Bobby THOMPSON Zeus Cloud Racing with WSR BMW 330e M Sport 12 16.643 2:10.644 2
8 16 M Aiden MOFFAT LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ Toyota Corolla GR Sport 12 23.431 2:11.576 21
9 77 M Sam OSBORNE NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST 12 26.823 2:11.350 16
10 18 I Daryl DELEON Duckhams Racing with Bartercard CUPRA Leon 12 29.165 2:12.440 17
11 29 I Scott SUMPTON Restart Racing CUPRA Leon 12 33.174 2:12.828 19
12 40 I Árón TAYLOR-SMITH Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra 12 1:08.350 2:05.876 12
13 222 I Chris SMILEY Restart Racing CUPRA Leon 12 1:32.158 2:08.271 18
14 12 M Rob HUFF TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK Toyota Corolla GR Sport 12 1:33.739 2:08.117 9
15 20 M Colin TURKINGTON Team BMW BMW 330e M Sport 12 1:51.605 2:08.981 8
16 80 M Tom INGRAM BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai i30 N Fastback 12 1:52.272 2:07.986 6
17 32 M Daniel ROWBOTTOM NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST 11 + 1 LAP 2:12.280 10
18 33 M Adam MORGAN Team BMW BMW 330e M Sport 11 + 1 LAP 2:11.205 7
19 14 M Ronan PEARSON BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai i30 N Fastback 11 + 1 LAP 2:12.901 11
20 1 M Ashley SUTTON NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST 11 + 1 LAP 2:08.094 3
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