JAKE HILL FEELING READY TO GO IN 2021
Following his most successful Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship to-date in 2020, after breaking the top ten in the Drivers’ Championship and concluding the campaign in seventh overall, MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square driver Jake Hill will no doubt be aiming for glory in 2021.
Following the Brands Hatch season finale, Hill headed into the off-season in confident mood after a new deal with the squad was announced on the eve of the year’s closing event.
“It’s a very nice feeling that MB Motorsport wanted to keep me for another year, and that feeling is very much mutual,” said Hill. “I love the team and its way of going about things both on and off the track. So it made perfect sense for me to stay.”
Learning of Team Owner Shaun Hollamby’s potential acquisition of Motorbase Performance, which was announced on 7 January, Hill felt further drawn to the squad, knowing that the move would include a change to the newer Ford Focus STs that the Kent-based troupe brought to the championship in 2020.
“When I found out that the potential move to Motorbase was on, it was even more of an incentive,” continued Hill. “It meant a new car, and a very good car at that, but also the amalgamation of both teams. You’ve got two of the very best independent teams ever really in touring cars coming together. What more could I possibly want?”
While moving from the Honda Civic Type R FK2 to the Focus in 2021 would be something new for Hill to tackle, it also sees the return to a newer version of the first car he drove in the series, having contested the MK II at Croft in 2013.
Bolstering his confidence in the move is the success Rory Butcher had with the same change of machine between the 2019 and 2020 seasons. In the new Focus ST, Butcher was able to cement himself as a championship contender up to the final event of last year, showing the pace of the car and the potential for a smooth transition from the FK2 for Hill, as well.
“I think Rory and I are very similar in terms of driving styles and I’d like to think that hopefully I’ll be a similar standard and pace heading into 2021. It gives me somewhat of an advantage, knowing what he managed to do with the car and the potential to maybe do more.
“I’m very excited as I think it’s going to be a big step forward. I’ve seen the car a couple of times in the workshop whilst it’s being built and it looks amazing. There’s lots of key developments going on and I’m really looking forward to getting behind the wheel.”
With testing for the Ford Focus STs yet to take place, as the build of the car is still underway, Hill explains that the schedule has been delayed, reflecting the revised start date for the series.
“As the season is now moved back, we’re probably not going to start testing until March as we want more consistent weather,” he concluded. “With all the rain and snow we’ve had it makes sense, so that’s the plan really at the moment. So I haven’t driven the car yet but I’m very much looking forward to it.
“Day one in the Focus will be a learning curve for both me and my engineer, with it being a new thing for us both. It’s a new car and a new way of going about things with Motorbase Performance. It’s going to really be a case of getting on top of the car in terms of driving it, making sure I’m totally happy and everything fits and works, all that type of stuff!”
MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square and the rest of the full Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship grid will be lining up for the opening rounds of the season at Thruxton on 8/9 May.