WSR and BMW end BTCC season with victory for Hill
WSR and BMW ended the 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship on the top step of the podium, as Jake Hill scored a magnificent final-race victory at Brands Hatch (October 7/8) .
With Stephen Jelley finishing third in the same race, it was a double-podium finish for the BMW 330e M Sport, which concludes the season with 10 victories and 25 podium finishes from the 30 races.
Having finished sixth in each of the day’s earlier two contests, Kent racer Hill started the final race in fourth, before moving up to second at the start. A daring three-wide move between Westfield and Sheen corners at one-third distance put him into a lead he would never cede.
The Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport driver’s sixth win of the year was the 12th of his career, and secured third place in the Drivers’ Championship.
A punchy performance from Jelley put the Team BMW driver on the podium for the second time in 2023 and capped a fine day’s work by the Leicester racer, who finished eighth and ninth in the earlier two encounters.
Four-time Champion Colin Turkington produced a solid fightback to climb from the back of the grid in the finale to finish 10th, despite his BMW’s encountering some technical issues along the way.
After securing fourth in Race One, the Northern Irishman got tangled in DNF worthy contact on the the opening lap in Race Two which set his grid position for the final run of the day.
Adam Morgan scored points in all three races in the remaining Team BMW 3 Series. The Lancashire racer made contact with several drivers in Race Two, losing a top-10 finish and a front-row start in the finale, as he fell to 13th by the flag. He rose to eighth in Race Three, which was two places higher than he managed in Race One.
After a thrilling season long battle, BMW lost out on the Manufacturers/Constructors Championship win by only four points as Alliance Racing / Ford took the lead in the final few rounds.
Jake Hill (Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport) said: “To win a race like that is a brilliant way to end any season and do to it at my home track – my first BTCC win here – is even better. A huge thanks to WSR and Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport for everything this year. I’m going home happy.”
Stephen Jelley (Team BMW) said: “It’s great to finish the year with a podium after a really fun battle like that. The BMW has been fantastic today. I was a bit disappointed with qualifying but we knew things would come back to us and that’s exactly what’s happened. My engineer Andy Miller is retiring after today, so I did that one for him.”
Colin Turkington (Team BMW) said: “It’s been a difficult end to the season. We had loads of potential with the BMW, as we saw from the strong fourth place in Race One. There’ve been a few too many ups and downs today and that’s been the way all season really.”
Adam Morgan (Team BMW) said: “The most frustrating thing was Race Two. That was a shame, but in Race Three with the soft tyres on the BMW felt really strong and as the guys around me were struggling on the mediums I could make some moves. It was a bit tasty, but it was tough touring car racing and I enjoyed it, just as I’ve enjoyed my first year with WSR and Team BMW.”