Hill ready for action
Jake Hill is primed and ready to go ahead of the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship with new outfit Trade Price Cars Racing, which is close to confirming the driver set to take a seat in the team’s second Audi S3 Saloon.
Hill’s plans for the season ahead became clear back at Autosport International, after the Kent racer stepped away from the BTCC fold towards the end of the 2018 campaign. Being at the industry show, signed up and alongside his interim-liveried Audi heralded a new start, which Hill’s relishing.
“It’s been a relief to get things sorted on schedule ahead of this season,” said Hill. “It’s a much needed fresh start for me in a new team. I’m thrilled to be back with AmD, too, and it’s nice to be a part of the family there again.
“We’re all back and it feels a little like a homecoming. I’ve driven the Audi before, but not with the current suspension, so it’ll feel different. I loved being at Autosport International with my car on the stand all liveried up and ready to go. It was a great feeling.
“I’m looking to start testing at the end of the month and we, as most others are awaiting the fitment of our new engines which Swindon Powertrain are poring over at the moment and putting the finishing touches on. We’ll get it in, get the car loaded and be fired up by the end of February.
“We’ve another driver to be announced shortly in the sister car so watch this space.”
The deal makes good on a long-standing relationship between Hill and Shaun Hollamby, whose AmD Tuning outfit will run the pair of Trade Price Cars Racing Audis in 2019. Joining that stable, re-joining that family, should lead, Hill says, to benefits all-round with strong drivers, extra data and a pair of proven cars in the FN2 Honda Civic Type Rs combining in the quest for results.
“I was talking to Shaun (Hollamby, AmD Team Principal) last year and he’s always been behind me. He was there for me last year and allowed me to test the MG6 for him last year. He wanted me back, as did the majority of my sponsors who stayed with me despite me not taking to the track towards the end of last season.
“That all made the deal possible, along with Dan Kirby at Trade Price Cars, who was looking from Silverstone to purchase the Audis. It was all done and dusted before Christmas.
“It’s great to be a part of the stable with Rory Butcher and Sam Tordoff in the AmD truck sharing data and information. Hopefully we can all learn a lot as we go along. It’ll be a nice influence to have there.
“We’ve got concrete data from a race-winning and championship-winning car that will be of use with the Audi’s development. The weight distribution and wheelbase are very similar. A fresh mind to it all can sometimes unlock new ideas and make it work.
“I’ve quite a lot of unfinished business with the BTCC in recent years and things haven’t quite worked out. It’s been tougher than we all expected and I’m not done with it yet. I had to have this reboot and I’m ready for it to all get back underway.
“It’s also helpful having two-three years under my belt. If we get the car somewhere reasonable, around the top ten then it’s about staying there and finishing there consistently. It’d be a big bonus for all of us at Trade Price Cars Racing. That’s where experience helps, you start to iron out the little mistakes here and there and learn about the personalities around you.”