Revised line-up for AmDTuning.com at Brands Hatch
- West Thurrock team makes short hop to Brands Hatch for season finale
- Mike Bushell eager to end maiden campaign with silverware
- Nicolas Hamilton to sit out weekend to focus on 2016 preparations; Jake Hill to make series return
The AmDTuning.com team will hope for a positive conclusion to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season when it makes the short trip to Brands Hatch this weekend for the final rounds of the 2015 campaign.
The West Thurrock-based team heads for the Kent circuit sporting a revised driver line-up, with Mike Bushell being joined for the season finale by rising star Jake Hill.
Mike has fond memories of the iconic Grand Prix layout, having wrapped up the Clio Cup UK title at the circuit in a dramatic fashion twelve months ago.
The 26-year-old goes into his home event on the back of a solid weekend at Silverstone last time out, where a series of radical set-up changes to his Ford Focus paid dividends as he qualified as best of the rookie drivers and then secured a brace of points finishes – including being first rookie home in the final race of the weekend.
Having also taken his first Clio Cup podium on the Brands GP circuit, Mike will aim to end his first full season in the BTCC with another memorable result on track, with a third Jack Sears Trophy success of the campaign being the ultimate aim.
Meanwhile, the team can today confirm that Mike’s regular team-mate Nicolas Hamilton will sit out the final rounds of the season at Brands Hatch this weekend.
Nicolas, the first disabled driver in the long and illustrious history of the championship, has competed with the team as an invitational driver during the latter part of the season.
The 23-year-old has elected to miss the season finale to concentrate on finalising his programme for 2016, when he plans to contest a full season with the team in its Audi S3.
As a result, BRDC Rising Star Jake Hill will step into the car this weekend for what will be his first outing in the BTCC since the 2013 season finale; where he secured a hat-trick of points finishes at the same circuit.
Earlier in the same season, Jake also took Jack Sears Trophy honours for being the best placed driver in a Super 2000-spec car in an additional one-off outing at Croft.
Jake has spent the 2015 season running as part of AmDTuning.com’s British GT Championship programme, with his best result being a stunning third place finish in the GT4 class at Spa.
Mike Bushell – #21 Ford Focus:
“In previous years, my season has always ended strongly at Brands Hatch and hopefully this year will be no exception. I have a lot of good memories from the Grand Prix circuit and it would be great if I can create some more as my first full season as a BTCC driver comes to an end.
“When the season started on the Indy circuit earlier in the year, it was fantastic to end the weekend with a Jack Sears Trophy to my name, and the aim is to the end the year in the same way. We’ll be running an evolution of the set-up that worked well at Silverstone and we have shown this season that when we are on the pace, the results tend to follow. I also know the GP circuit really well, which will help, and there is the chance of wet conditions that should also play into our hands.
“While I’m excited about the weekend ahead, I also have mixed emotions as I can’t believe Finals Day has come around already. At one point before the season started, it looked like I wouldn’t even be on the grid because of illness, and there have certainly been ups and downs along the way. However it’s been fantastic to be part of the AmDTuning.com team and I have to thank everyone involved for the way they have worked tirelessly all season.
“Hopefully I can have a longer-term future with the team, so the aim is to try and end well and then start work on preparing for next year.”
Jake Hill – #29 Audi S3:
“It was a big surprise to get the call from Shaun asking if I’d be interested in racing this weekend, and I’m thankful to both him and the team that I’ve been given the opportunity to compete in the BTCC for the first time in two years.
“It’s going to be a step into the unknown for me as I haven’t driven the Audi before, but you can see it’s a good car even though the team is still learning with it. Certainly Nicolas has done a great job so far, and hopefully I can continue that this weekend.
“Because I won’t have driven the car until FP1, it’s difficult to make too many predictions about what I should expect this weekend, but the aim for me is to try and secure three solid finishes and some good results for the team.”
Shaun Hollamby – team principal:
“The season has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride with a lot of ups and downs, but hopefully we can finish it on a high this weekend at our home circuit; especially as we will have a large number of supporters joining us for Finals Day.
“Without doubt, the Brands Hatch GP circuit is one of the most iconic in the championship and Mike has an impressive record there in the past. Having shown his pace again at Silverstone, there is no reason why he can’t repeat the Jack Sears Trophy success he enjoyed on the Indy circuit at the start of the year.
“While it’s unfortunate that Nicolas won’t be out this weekend, it’s great that we can give Jake the opportunity to return to the BTCC grid at his home circuit. We’ve supported him since his days in the Ginetta Junior Championship and he has done a great job for us in our British GT Championship Porsche this year, so he was the logical choice to step into the Audi for this weekend.
“Given he hasn’t driven the car before, we’re not putting any pressure on him in terms of results and it’s just nice to be able to give him his chance to race a BTCC car for AmDTuning.com.”