Jake Hill hails “incredible recovery” to qualify for third “TouringCars.Net
Jake Hill was delighted with his qualifying effort at Brands Hatch, after MB Motorsport had a “pretty abysmal morning” to place his Ford Focus in third on the grid for race one of the British Touring Car Championship.
Having been just ninth and 17the the fastest in the first two practice sessions of the day, Hill admitted he struggled with the set-up of his Ford Focus ST before qualifying.
Working with his engineer, Hill was able to find a setup much more suited to him for qualifying, where he clocked the third fastest lap of the day, to be a tenth of a second slower than the pole position time set by Daniel. Rowbottom. .
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Hill’s time came early in the session and he held first place until just six minutes from the end when Rowbottom and his teammate Gordon Shedden edged him out.
The 27-year-old, who led the championship after the BTCC’s first round at Thruxton but now sits fifth, also suffered a gravel hiatus during the session as he tried more to improve his time , ultimately in vain.
“Thirdly, it’s an incredible recovery for me and the team after what has been a pretty shocking morning of free practice,” said Hill.
“I am absolutely delighted, my engineer Craig [Porley] reinvented the wheel a bit, and a big thank you to my MB Motorsport team accelerated by Blue Square.
“It was a bit lairy [through the gravel], but we got away with it and managed to get back on track. My first run in the car was for sure at its best, and my second run we maybe left it a little late.
“Maybe we should have put them back to back, but hindsight is a beautiful thing. Third, after what has been a pretty dreadful morning, I am absolutely thrilled and really excited for the races.
“I don’t know what to expect on Sunday, we made a huge improvement today. The only thing is we haven’t raced in this setup so it will be a bit of the unknown, but I just hope it rains a bit and I can put some slicks back on.