MB MOTORSPORT ACCELERATED BY BLUE SQUARE BATTLES HARD AT SILVERSTONE
MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square produced a battling display on track at Silverstone to secure four points finishes from a possible six in the latest rounds of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.
The squad started the weekend with a strong qualifying session on Saturday, as Jake Hill maintained his record of being inside the top ten on the grid for every meeting this season, setting the tenth fastest time. Team-mate Sam Osborne would begin the opening encounter from 17th spot.
Hill would slip down to 12th on the opening lap of race one but having got ahead of the newer Civic Type R (FK8) of Josh Cook on lap two, he then managed to clear both Matt Neal and Tom Chilton at Becketts on lap four to move up into ninth just before the safety car was deployed.
On the restart, Hill battled ahead of Ollie Jackson’s Ford and then climbed to seventh when Tom Oliphant ran into technical issues; retaining the place to the finish, despite former champion Neal’s best efforts to get back ahead.
Osborne would spend the race dicing for position with the Hyundai of Chris Smiley and ended the race where he started but remained optimistic about pushing forwards for points in race two.
A solid start to the second race saw Hill fight his way up into the top five on the opening laps before he slipped back to eighth on lap 12. The 26-year-old went on to end the race where he started to secure another solid seventh-place finish.
Osborne would also make places up at the start in the sister Honda, producing a solid drive to stay out of trouble in the midfield pack, and was rewarded with a 12th place finish.
The early stages of the reverse-grid race three saw Hill running in third place, before the action was halted by an accident for Rory Butcher.
On the restart, the #24 Honda got forced out on the opening lap and would struggle to match its earlier pace, as Hill wrapped up the weekend with a 15th place finish. However, the points scored across the weekend mean he’s moved back into the top ten in the championship standings.
Osborne would run inside the points in the early stages of the restarted race, but contact on track would hamper his chances of adding to his tally as he finished the weekend with a 20th place finish.
“It was a good day for us until race three,” reflected Hill. “We had probably done better than we hoped to do at a circuit that doesn’t play to our strengths. The car was good in race one and race two, but in race three it just wasn’t there for me.
“We need to look over things to see why we didn’t have the performance in that one but taking points in all three races and qualifying in the top-ten again was great. So proud of my crew, as always they worked so hard and I have now moved up to P10 overall and P6 in the Independents’ class, so some real positives there.”
“It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions for me,” added Osborne. “We were making good progress in the opening two races but like Jake, race three just didn’t go my way. We were struggling a bit for straight-line speed and got caught up with a little bit of contact, but a tiny sideways moment from a little tap really hurts on the next straight here and you get swallowed up by the cars behind.
“It’s a shame that we couldn’t pick up the Jack Sears Trophy this weekend as we had a real chance, but it’s good to come away from the weekend having battled back into the points.”