MB MOTORSPORT ACCELERATED BY BLUE SQUARE STORMS TO MAIDEN BTCC WIN
After a second front-row qualifying result in as many races, MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square’s Jake Hill converted an excellent qualifying into the team’s maiden victory in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Croft last weekend (18/19 September).
Having lined up second on the grid for the initial encounter, a strong start from Hill allowed the BRDC Superstar to harass pole-sitter Aiden Moffat for the full 18-lap contest, before crossing the finish line in second and sealing the squad’s first podium visit of the weekend. Team-mate Ollie Jackson meanwhile made a superb start from 11th and was up to eighth by the end of the opening lap, before an incident at the final hairpin ended his race on the third circuit.
Starting race two from opposite ends of the field, with Hill in second and Jackson 29th, the pair showed determination and resilience in two very different circumstances.
With Jackson climbing an outstanding 14 places on the opening tour alone, the 37-year-old was into the points by lap six and made up a further place by the end of a mammoth comeback to finish in 14th.
Having initially pressured race one winner Moffat, a committed move from Hill saw the #24 Ford Focus claim the lead before the end of the first lap. Managing a post-safety car restart impressively, the 27-year-old continued to head the field and began to bridge a gap to the chasing pack, taking a second career victory with a lead of more than five seconds.
The Motorbase Performance-run squad headed into race three with hopes of a strong finish to the day as both cars lined up within the top 15.
Another dose of unfortunate luck for Jackson saw the #48 car entangled in an incident early on which brought a premature end to his race due to the damage incurred.
Battling full success ballast and the softer Goodyear tyre compound, Hill defended throughout the encounter to hold on to his seventh-place starting position and claim another valuable points haul.
With less than a week until the team heads to Silverstone for Rounds 22, 23 and 24 of the campaign (25/26 September), Hill holds second in the standings and tops the Goodyear Wingfoot Award, while MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square sits sixth in the teams’ battle.
“Get in there!” proclaimed Hill. “I’m absolutely delighted to get the win and a huge amount of credit goes to the MB Motorsport and Motorbase Performance squad – the car was absolutely faultless, even with the weight. The tyres stayed with me right until the end and it’s just a massive thank you to all the team.
“Overall, it was a fantastic weekend – we’ve done just about all we can, clawed back some ground in the Championship fight and pulled ourselves up to second in the standings. That’s what we are going to have to do with every remaining round, but we are properly in the fight and it feels like the momentum is building.”
“It’s been another frustrating weekend and we leave Croft with a sense of what might have been yet again,” said Jackson. “Qualifying went really well and we had put ourselves right in the mix, but our chances of success were taken away from us. Getting caught up in the incident at the hairpin in race one meant it was another recovery mission. We came through really strongly in race two, which again underlines that the pace and combination are there, but we haven’t had the rub of the green as you can see yet again in race three. I’m looking forward to returning to Silverstone at the weekend, a scene of happy memories last year, and hopeful that we can create some more this time around.”
“I am so pleased for everyone,” added Sporting Director Mark Blundell. “Everyone involved in the team in every role deserves that victory. Jake drove so dominantly to deliver it and I know how much it meant to him. For MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square, a BTCC outright win is new territory and I want to thank Motorbase Performance and all our incredible partners for helping make it possible.”