HILL INHERITS WIN AFTER CLASSIC AT KNOCKHILL
Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill inherited victory in Round 19 of the 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship after a number of title contenders endured heartache in an absolute modern day classic at Knockhill.
Ash Sutton (NAPA Racing UK) was seemingly extending his advantage at the top of the Drivers’ standings with victory when Josh Cook (One Motorsport with Starline Racing) crashed out as the pair ran side-by-side for the lead, before the race turned one way and then the other.
With rain now lashing down on the Fife circuit, Tom Ingram (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8) became the first of the front-runners to switch to Goodyear wet tyres, which immediately played into his hands as conditions worsened.
Local lads Aiden Moffat (One Motorsport with Starline Racing) and Rory Butcher (TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK) both enjoyed short spells at the front before the Scottish weather caught them out and they crashed out of contention.
Sutton was eventually forced to pit for wet tyres – despite having shown astonishing car control on slicks as the rain poured down – and the race was then in the hands of Ingram for the closing laps.
Ingram crossed the line to take victory on-the-road and with it the standings lead, but the drama wasn’t over as both he and BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 team-mate Tom Chilton clearly failed the post-race ride height checks.
Joy immediately turned to despair for Ingram, as Hill inherited the win to kickstart his own championship challenge following a difficult time at Croft last time out.
CarStore Power Maxed Racing’s Andrew Watson has enjoyed a speedy weekend in the wet weather at Knockhill so far, and the Northern Irishman was duly rewarded with second place – the best result of his short BTCC career so far.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK’s Ricky Collard scored a podium, ahead of Stephen Jelley (Team BMW), whilst Ronan Pearson (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8) impressively came through to take fifth.
Jake Hill said: “At the start I had a great view of [Ash] Sutton and [Josh] Cook banging doors and having a great time. I just kept getting closer and closer and closer and eventually got right with them. Then obviously the rain unleashed which was unexpected – I think we all thought it would only be here for race two.
“I saw Tom [Ingram] dive in to the pits behind me to get wets and I went a lap later, so I wasn’t too far behind but I had lost a bit.”
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 1 – Knockhill
1. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport 27 laps
2. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +6.792s
3. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +7.565s
4. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +8.049s
5. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +9.091s
6. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +9.381s
7. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +9.922s
8. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +10.528s
9. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +11.733s
10. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +1 Lap
11. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +1 Lap
12. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +1 Lap
13. Rob Huff, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +1 Lap
14. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +1 Lap
15. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +1 Lap
16. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +1 Lap
17. Jade Edwards, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +1 Lap
18. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +1 Lap
19. Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +1 Lap
20. Michael Crees, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +3 Laps
21. Daryl DeLeon, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +DNF
22. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +DNF
23. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK DNF
24. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing DNF
25. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK DNF
26. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 DSQ
27. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 DSQ