LASER TOOLS RACING WITH MB MOTORSPORT END THE SEASON WITH VICTORY
Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport and Jake Hill collected their sixth victory of the 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season during the final race of the day at Brands Hatch (7/8 October) to close out the campaign third in the Drivers’ Championship.
Starting Saturday in fine form, Hill placed P2 on the timesheets in the opening free practice session of the day and followed that up with a 17th place finish in the second session as the team geared up for qualifying.
In the session that followed, he would secure P8 in a closely contested session and all eyes were now focused on climbing the order on race day.
Sunday beckoned with unusually warm weather – over 23 degrees – making the day more demanding on teams, drivers and especially tyres.
Hill made another slick getaway and worked his way up to sixth place, ahead of Colin Turkington (Team BMW) and Dan Cammish (NAPA Racing UK). Pressuring Dan Rowbottom (NAPA Racing UK) mid-race, he charged alongside the Ford Focus ST but was then passed by both Turkington and Cammish. A late race incident ahead saw him back past at Paddock Bend and finishing a solid P6.
Race two would once again see Hill start well in the rear-wheel drive WSR-run BMW 330e M Sport and looked to challenge those around him as the race settled. He would again remain clear of any trouble and cross the line once more in P6 to add yet more points to his growing tally.
The final race of the weekend saw the reverse grid drawn and Hill was given P4 on the grid. A blistering start let him slide past Rowbottom and Josh Cook (One Motorsport with Starline Racing) as he charged into Paddock Bend which took him up to second – chasing Stephen Jelley (Team BMW).
At the safety car restart it was Jelley, Cook and Hill – the leading pair putting on a tremendous show of passing and re-passing until on lap six they ran almost side by side into Westfield Bend.
Seizing his chance with a beautifully timed move, Hill cut back to the inside, the cars running three abreast and in a decisive move described by ITV’s Tim Harvey as ‘One of the moves of the season’ charged by to take the lead as the trio braked for Sheene Curve.
Despite another safety car, Hill edged away from Cook – setting fastest lap in the process – to cross the line just 1.278 seconds clear and record his sixth BTCC victory of 2023.
This was his first victory in BTCC at Brands Hatch – his 12th career win – and made it six wins in 2023, double that of 2022, he took a hard-fought 3rd overall in the Championship.
Hill said: “What a way to finish the season with win number six! The car felt great all weekend and we battled hard in races one and two to put ourselves at the sharp end for the final race of the day. That overtake will definitely be one I will remember for a long time and to finally get that home race win is unforgettable.
“This season has been brilliant for myself and the team with it being my most successful year to date it is one to build upon for 2024.
“A massive thank you to all my team at Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport and the guys and girls at West Surrey Racing for their hard work and support all season long, without them and my brilliant partners, this all would not have been possible.
“Lastly, a thank you to all the fans out there, I really do appreciate all your support. Let’s see if we can go even better next year!”