LOCAL MAN HILL LEADS THE WAY AT BRANDS HATCH
MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square driver Jake Hill has kicked off his home BTCC weekend in the best way possible by topping the opening practice session at Brands Hatch.
Hill endured a challenging opening event at Donington Park last time out where a couple of engine changes scuppered his chances of scoring well in the season curtain raiser, but the Kent man is aiming to immediately bounce back.
“Last weekend wasn’t the best way to start the campaign,” said Hill. “But we know the car is good, everyone knows the car is good and the team was obviously Independents’ Champions last year. They’ve done a great job and so have Swindon to turn it all around and make it all better.
“I’m here to win points this weekend and hopefully, if the engine allows, we’ll do just that.”
The Honda Civic Type R driver topped a very different looking top four in FP1 as Tom Chilton (BTC Racing), Rory Butcher (Motorbase Performance) and Senna Proctor (EXCELR8 Motorsport) followed him in the timesheets.
Title protagonists – Dan Cammish and Colin Turkington – were next in the order with the Honda and BMW men evoking memories of their championship battle around the Grand Prix circuit in 2019.
Three-time BTCC champion Matt Neal continued his solid start to the new campaign with seventh overall in the opening run. Neal finish fifth, seventh and eighth in the three Donington Park races last weekend, and whilst not being able to show the ultimate race-winning pace thus far, it is the sort of consistent points scoring that is required to mount another championship challenge.
The Carlube-backed Mercedes of Adam Morgan was next up in eighth – fresh from his podium in the finale at Donington – as the Lancashire-based squad continue to move back towards the front.
Josh Cook (BTC Racing) and Tom Ingram (Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters) completed the top ten.
There was just one incident of note in the 40-minute session when the Audi S3 of Bobby Thompson needed to be recovered after a minor stoppage on the exit of Druids.
Free Practice 2 of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship from Brands Hatch GP takes place at 1205, before qualifying commences at 1520. You can watch the vital qualifying session via www.itv.com/btcc and keep up to date with all the information via the BTCC’s social media channels.
2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Free Practice 1 – Brands Hatch GP
1 Jake HILL (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square 1:31.729s
2 Tom CHILTON (GBR) BTC Racing +0.139s
3 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Motorbase Performance +0.221s
4 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +0.246s
5 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.290s
6 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.370s
7 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.396s
8 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Carlube TripleR Racing with Mac Tools +0.489s
9 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +0.622s
10 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters +0.629s
11 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Motorbase Performance +0.797s
12 Chris SMILEY (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +0.857s
13 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.866s
14 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +0.977s
15 Michael CREES (GBR) The Clever Baggers with BTC Racing +0.992s
16 Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) GKR TradePriceCars.com +1.075s
17 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker Racing +1.096s
18 Jack GOFF (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +1.216s
19 James GORNALL (GBR) GKR TradePriceCars.com +1.405s
20 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1.457s
21 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) HUB Financial Solutions with Team HARD +1.843s
22 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +1.860s
23 Andy NEATE (GBR) Motorbase Performance +1.992s
24 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with Team HARD +3.551s
25 Ollie BROWN (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport Team HARD +4.937s
26 Jack BUTEL (GBR) Carlube TripleR Racing with Mac Tools +5.163s