VICTORY AND DRAMA FOR LASER TOOLS RACING WITH MB MOTORSPORT AT SILVERSTONE
Last weekend (23/24 September), Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport and Jake Hill collected their fifth victory of the 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship campaign – a personal best for Hill in a single season and the third year in a row that he’s tasted victory at Silverstone. However, technical issues whilst leading in race two, meant Hill and the team departed the circuit with a feeling of ‘what might have been’.
Starting Saturday in fine form, Hill topped the timesheets in the opening free practice session of the day and followed that up with a 4th place finish in the second session.
With this weekend seeing the return of the ‘Top 10 Showdown’ in qualifying, the 29-year-old took provisional pole position after the first thirty minutes and headed into the 10-minute shootout as the man to beat.
In the shootout, Hill put his WSR-run BMW 330e M Sport in 4th place in the ultra-tight session; as he missed out on pole by just 0.045 seconds.
Race day at Silverstone saw dark skies surrounding the circuit and with the rain beginning to fall gradually; the decision of dry or wet tyres became pivotal ahead of the first race. Balancing the risks and rewards, Hill and the team opted for the wet-weather Goodyear tyres and when the lights went out, he stormed to the front of the field, eventually taking victory by five seconds.
As the circuit dried for race two, Hill got a great launch and commanded the race from the front of the field, before a safety car for debris nullified his lead.
After the safety car, Hill continued at the front of the field before disaster struck and a technical issue so him drop down the field and into 12th place, before a further incident at the race’s final corner saw Hill cross the line in 20th.
Although the BMW racer did recover to eighth in Race Three, overtaking twelve cars.
“A weekend of massive highs and massive lows,” said Hill. “Absolutely incredible to get a dominant win in race one with the correct tyre choice – I have to thank Mark (Blundell) and the team for helping us make a collective decision to put the right rubber on!
“After race one we thought the championship fight was back on and leading in race two filled me with even more confidence. Unfortunately, the technical issue meant we came home to finish 20th. Race three was a decent comeback but again technical problems hindered my progress and had to settle for 8th.
“Overall a fantastic job by all the Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport crew and WSR, the car’s handling was incredible all weekend just let down by electrical issues and the championship is fight over. Now we head home to Brands Hatch and we’ll look to have some fun and end the season on a high.
“Winning race one was particularly poignant as last week Dan Kirby passed away and I was proud to be able to dedicate my win to him. Dan was a fantastic guy and was Team Principle for Trade Price Cars Racing, the team Mark (Blundell) and I were teammates at in 2019. All our love and thoughts go to Dan’s family and friends.”
Hill now leaves Silverstone remaining 3rd in the Drivers’ Championship and looks to end the season on a high as the team returns for the season finale at Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time (7/8 October).