Opinion: rising BTCC star Hill keeps one foot in the past Car News

Jake Hill is one of the new young lions of the British Touring Car Championship. Along with pilots such as Tom Ingram and Rory Butcher, Hill emerges to pick up the torch from old-guard pilots such as Matt Neal, Jason Plato and even Colin Turkington.

At 27, Hill is entering his eighth BTCC season, so he’s done his apprenticeship and is set to bid for the title with the refreshed MB Motorsport squad from former F1 driver Mark Blundell, who evolved from the successful Motorbase Performance operation.

Hill is fiercely competitive in the car, but open-minded and personable. This was the key to his entry into the BTCC as there was no silver spoon for this youngster: he got to where he is now thanks to his transplant, his abilities and his results.

Even before he was old enough to run, Hill was working for what he wanted. His first BTCC weekends were not as a racer, but as a youngster, cleaning wheels and doing odd jobs for the Red Line Racing Porsche Carrera Cup team. He is proof that a family bag of gold is not the only path to motor racing.

The BTCC, of ​​course, is Hill’s primary focus of the season. He will spend 10 weekends from May to October fighting tooth and nail with 30 other equally committed runners. But that’s not the full story of the Tunbridge Wells pilot.

Hill is also building a reputation in historic racing. For the past three seasons he has had the chance to drive cars for owners and has delivered everything from a Lotus Elan to a Nissan Skyline R32, a Ford Mustang and most recently a Chevron sports car. B26.

His historic career began with a sensational victory at the 2018 Silverstone Classic, when he kept Richard Wheeler’s Lotus Elan ahead of all the V8 monsters to win the Pre ’66 GT race. It was an unparalleled result and one that instantly put Hill in the spotlight of historic racing.

Over the Easter weekend he did it again, this time in the Chevron at Donington Park in the Masters Historic Sports Car Championship. He played in the race and was expected to come second behind established Chevron Tom Bradshaw when the clutch failed.

Hill did some testing for Chevron owner Simon Watts in his new Lola Endurance Legends, but had never driven the 1973 Chevron until qualifying on Friday morning. He shared the John Danby Racing car with veteran driver Roberto Giordanelli, in what was, in fact, his first race in an open-top car.

“It’s a good time before the start of the BTCC,” said Hill after his virtuoso performance in the Chevron. “I really enjoy these cars. It’s racing the kind of cars I’ve always dreamed of. I love it but I’m so drained. I fell in love with it immediately when I rode it in qualifying, and I hope I have another chance. In those two performances alone, Hill will have no shortage of racing opportunities for a long time to come.

Paul Lawrence


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This notice was published: 2021-04-23 05:01:24