JAKE HILL ENDS DAY ON A HIGH
ROKiT MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill ended his rather topsy-turvy day on a high as the BMW man claimed a lights-to-flag victory in the final BTCC race at Donington Park.
Having taken pole position for the opener, Hill endured a rather scrappy curtain raiser that ultimately ended in exclusion when his car failed a post-race ride height check.
A fightback drive in the second bout was rewarded with pole position for the reverse grid finale and the Kent star never looked back as he surged home with a dominant display.
NAPA Racing UK’s Ash Sutton claimed a comfortable second as he left behind a frenetic battle for the final place on the podium, which eventually went to Rich Energy BTC Racing’s Josh Cook.
Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com’s Dan Lloyd held third for much of the race, but he proved to be the cork in the bottle as a gaggle of cars hunted him down.
Cook had to wait until the penultimate lap to make his move as Lloyd ran wide on the exit at Redgate. The Honda Civic Type R ran side-by-side with the Hyundai i30N all the way down the Craner Curves before completing the deal through the Old Hairpin.
Lloyd held off his EXCELR8 Motorsport team-mate Tom Ingram until the finish, who himself had made late race passes by Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport’s Adam Morgan and Toyota GAZOO Racing UK’s Rory Butcher.
Three former champions in the shape of Colin Turkington (Team BMW), Gordon Shedden (Halfords Racing with Cataclean) and Jason Plato (Rich Energy BTC Racing) enjoyed memorable scraps during the race, whilst Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero’s Bobby Thompson completed a fantastic day with tenth.
Jake Hill said: “It was a nice race that! It very much resembled my Croft win last year. It was nice to lead Ash [Sutton] as well, it was the other way round a lot last year so nice to have that reversed. Massive credit to the team, my little ‘ROKiT-ship’ was absolutely flying this weekend, so a huge thank you to MB Motorsport, WSR and everyone at BMW for this fantastic result.
“It’s a shame for us as a team because we’ve been so up and down collectively this weekend. The main thing is that the pace is there, the car’s very good and we’ve definitely got a car that can challenge for the title with, which is what it’s all about. It starts with that recoup that we did then. We managed to come back all the way from last on the grid at the start of race two and we’re here in the winners’ circle for the last race, which is fantastic.”
Ash Sutton said: “We’ve been playing catch up which is a shame because yesterday the one-lap pace was phenomenal, it’s just getting back into front-wheel drive. We’re learning things so I’m pleased with that, we deserved it with what the boys have been putting into it, especially from Dan’s car as well, obviously they’ve done a tremendous job. So, from NAPA Racing UK, a sterling job.
“We’re never going to be happy unless we’re where Jake is. But it’s a definite improvement, that’s the key bit. We’ve now got some more data and it’s about learning from it, what’s the next step, what do we need to do now to try and unlock a bit more.”
Josh Cook said: “[Lloyd’s car] was the widest I’ve ever come across, but I just had to keep the pressure on. I saved a couple of my hybrid laps for the end and he just locked up and ran deep so I thought ‘now’s my chance.’ I got my nose in and as soon as I got my foot in the door he couldn’t close it. I was lucky to hold around the outside of [the Craner Curves] – it’s a tough job to do that – but the car’s been mega.
“We had a really difficult day yesterday. To do one lap in quali really and then be P16, we were pretty deflated at this time yesterday. So huge credit to the team. Really, really thankful for them, they really deserve it. This is a box ticked, now we need to move forward and try to find a little more pace somewhere.”
2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 3 – Donington Park
1. Jake HILL (GBR) ROKiT MB Motorsport 16 laps
2. Ash SUTTON (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +2.148s
3. Josh COOK (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +9.261s
4. Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +9.878s
5. Tom INGRAM (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +10.104s
6. Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +10.466s
7. Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +11.045s
8. Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +11.247s
9. Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +12.314s
10. Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +14.651s
11. Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +20.502s
12. Jason PLATO (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +20.988s
13. Dan CAMMISH (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +21.233s
14. Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +22.330s
15. Ricky COLLARD (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +23.525s
16. Michael CREES (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +26.255s
17. Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +26.431s
18. Dexter PATTERSON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +27.474s
19. Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +33.598s
20. George GAMBLE (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +34.042s
21. Jack BUTEL (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +34.372s
22. Jade EDWARDS (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +35.111s
23. Ash HAND (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +35.119s
24. Nic HAMILTON (GBR) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +44.729s
25. Rick PARFITT (GBR) Uptonsteel with Euro Car Parts Racing +1 lap
26. Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1 lap
27. Tom CHILTON (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +13 laps
28. Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +16 laps