ROKIT MB MOTORSPORT’S PODIUM-SCORING PERFORMANCE AT BRANDS HATCH INDY
ROKiT MB Motorsport driver Jake Hill took his and the team’s second podium result of the season in tricky, damp conditions at Brands Hatch Indy last weekend (14/15 May) as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship made the first of two trips to Hill’s home circuit in 2022.
In stark comparison to the sweltering conditions seen on qualifying day, the weather on Sunday was decidedly more mixed – with dark clouds brewing overhead and the heavens opening just minutes before the start of the first race.
Launching from the front row of the grid, Hill entered the first corner side-by-side with WSR stablemate Colin Turkington – their pair of BMW 330e M Sport machines mere millimetres apart – but the 28-year-old would lose out to the #50 machine.
As the race wore on, tyre management became the main focus of the morning as those on wet tyres began to toil as the racing line dried. A small error from Hill at Clearways allowed the Honda of Josh Cook to sneak through before a trip through the gravel relegated the Kent racer to fourth place at the chequered flag.
A lightning start in the second encounter then saw Hill climb into P2 before even reaching Paddock Hill Bend, which placed him on the rear bumper of Cook.
Locked in battle, Hill ramped up the pressure on the Honda throughout the race – maintaining a gap of around three-tenths of a second with Dan Cammish also honing in on the action.
After an enthralling cat and mouse chase, too much kerb at Druids with two laps to go sent Hill into a spin – dropping him down the order as the race reached its conclusion.
Lining up in sixth place for the final race of the day, a spirited Hill wasted little time in making his way to the podium places – making an impressive getaway from the line to surge past Dan Lloyd and George Gamble before the first corner.
With his BMW dialled in, a number of decisive moves soon brought him up to second place. Bunched back together following a late-race safety car, Hill followed Turkington line astern to the finish to record his 20th career BTCC podium.
“It’s great to be on the podium in the final race,” said Hill. “My ROKiT MB Motorsport BMW was fantastic in the last race. We’ve been quick all day and I’m glad that final race was mistake-free this time. I learnt my lesson and we’ve come home with a podium and a decent haul of points today and that will propel us forward to Thruxton later in the month.”
“The traditional British weather played its hand this weekend with scorching sunshine on Saturday followed by damp and drizzle on Sunday,” added Sporting Director Mark Blundell. “However, that makes for some very exciting racing and that’s what we saw today. Mixed conditions can often throw up surprises and the team did well to manage the conditions. Two podiums in the first two weekends is a solid start for the team and we’ll be aiming for more at Thruxton.”
Leaving Brands Hatch, Hill moves up to fourth place in the Drivers’ Standings with 69 points, whilst ROKiT MB Motorsport places seventh in the Teams’ battle. The championship resumes at Thruxton in Hampshire in just under two weeks’ time, on 28/29 May.