18th June 2023

Jake Hill has kickstarted his 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship campaign with a fantastic victory in the opener at Oulton Park.

The Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport racer has driven consistently at the sharp end during the season so far, with three second place finishes being his best result up to this point, but a deserved visit to the top step of the podium has elevated his title challenge.

A brilliant start from Hill saw his BMW 330e M Sport blast past pole-sitter Ash Sutton around the outside on the run down to turn one, and a robust defence followed on the opening laps as the rear-wheel drive car gradually brought its tyres up to temperature.

After a high-pressured start Hill then gradually settled into his stride and pulled away from championship leader Sutton in his #116 Napa Racing UK Ford Focus.

Tom Ingram (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8) completed the podium as he shook off the frustrations of qualifying to come through from sixth on the grid.

It was Ricky Collard who missed out on the podium, but the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK performed well to keep the chasing pack behind with a little over a second separating him, Dan Cammish (NAPA Racing UK), Josh Cook (One Motorsport with Starline Racing) and Bobby Thompson (Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils) – the latter recovering from a sluggish getaway off the line.

The Team BMW trio of Adam Morgan, Colin Turkington and Stephen Jelley completed the top ten with all three drivers getting their elbows out at various stages of the contest.

Turkington produced arguably the drive of the race as the four-time champion surged from 27th on the grid to ninth – making more progress in the opener than he probably would have imagined.

Jake Hill said: "Huge thank you for Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport! It's been a bit of a hard start to the season in terms of not getting any wins, but we have persevered. Credit to my engineer Craig as well for giving me a car that is just mega.

"I knew, especially on the soft tyre, that the BMW was going to be extremely strong off the line – I got a fantastic start and I'm not sure Ash [Sutton] made the best of starts, so it was easier.

"We all know the Ford is incredibly strong at the start of the race but we've worked hard on that. The car became amazing in the second lap, so we were able then to start disappearing. 

"The car does just feel alive now and it's easy to drive. Now, I can put the car where I want and it just stays there, so I'm extremely proud of the work we've put in."

Ash Sutton said: "We weren't going to live with the BMW off the line – recently rear-wheel drive cars have just had a tweak to their start line procedure so I knew it was going to be a fight. I didn't make the cleanest of starts myself but ultimately we have a lot to lose.

"So, got away steady but we weren't living with that BMW. We tried an attack on the first few laps but ultimately realised we couldn't run the risk, as our main focus is on Tom [Ingram]."

Tom Ingram said: "Jake [Hill] had a very niche thing where he was able to see the front of Ash's car! I've only been able to see his back all year so Jake is in a good position there!"

2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 1 – Oulton Park

1. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport 15 laps
2. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +1.874s
3. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +2.563s
4. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +10.181s
5. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +10.583s
6. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +11.090s
7. Bobby Thompson, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +11.566s
8. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +17.674s
9. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +18.676s
10. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +21.899s
11. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +24.713s
12. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +25.416s
13. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +30.406s
14. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +31.342s 
15. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +32.005s
16. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +33.450s
17. Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +41.528s
18. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +42.147s
19. Will Powell, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +49.674s
20. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +53.180s
21. Nic Hamilton, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +53.552s
22. Jade Edwards, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +53.900s
23. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +54.260s
24. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +1 Lap
25. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +2 Laps
26. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +9 Laps
27. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +13 Laps

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