Hill takes last-gasp victory and BTCC series lead at Oulton Park

27th June 2024

Jake Hill won a thrilling last race of the day for Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport at a scorching hot weekend at Oulton Park to take the lead of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship heading into the summer break.

The Kent driver, who earlier in the day scored his 50th career podium, made it five wins from the past nine races and heads the standings at the end of a weekend for the first time.

Jake made a great start from seventh on the grid in Race One in his WSR-run BMW 330e M Sport and quickly moved up the order. However a lock-up at the Island hairpin cost him a position and he fell behind Team BMW’s Adam Morgan.

Adam had a great first race and showed strong pace, staying ahead of Jake after his error and pressuring the cars ahead all the way to the finish. He crossed the line fourth to match his season’s-best result at his home circuit.

Colin Turkington’s race was a lot more difficult; the high temperatures affecting his clutch and preventing the Northern Irishman from getting off the line at the start. From a pitlane start he  had a quiet run to finish 20th.

In Race Two, Adam had a slow start due to a turbo issue and was attacked by two cars on the inside at Old Hall Corner, spinning the 11-time BTCC race winner down to last place.

Jake ran fifth; dived up the inside of one of his key title rivals to claim fourth with a third of the race to go and then made another superb move into the Knickerbrook chicane on the last lap to claim the final podium position.

Colin put on a terrific performance from 20th; fighting his way through the pack with the target of grabbing a strong grid spot for the reversed-grid final race.

After making it up to seventh with a daring move on the penultimate lap, Colin had gained 13 positions in 15 laps, but lucked out when only the top six were selected to be reversed.

Jake started the final race from fourth spot and was upto third within three corners. He snatched second at the hairpin on lap 10 and then chased down the leader; seizing the advantage at Knickerbrook on the final lap to take a 17th career victory.

Adam made a brilliant charge through the order to finish the race seventh, while four-time champion Colin had a race to forget. Running on the slower hard tyre, he was spun out twice by rivals on lap four and dropped to the back of the pack, recovering to claim a single point in 15th.

Jake takes a four-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship into the summer break while Colin and Adam are both strongly placed in sixth and joint-seventh in the standings.

Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport, said: “It was a fantastic win for me and the Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport BMW. I made a last-lap pass at Knickerbrook just as I did in Race Two, and overall it’s been a fantastic day. In Race One I made a slight mistake by myself going into the hairpin, but I recovered to finish fifth and only lost one position. In Race Two, I had a nice fight through and a good fight with Dan Cammish and got third, and then starting fourth for the final race we came through to claim the victory, I’m absolutely over the moon. A huge thank you to the WSR team.”

Adam Morgan, Team BMW, said: “It’s been frustrating as we’ve shown really good pace throughout Saturday and Sunday. In Race One we finished fourth and had good speed from the BMW on the soft tyre. Then in Race Two we put the hard tyre on but unfortunately were collected at the first corner and I had a race by myself. Switching from the soft tyre to the hard tyre, the pace was still really strong, then then in Race Three, we started 17th on the soft and moved up to seventh, so that was a really strong performance. It’s a weekend of ‘what could have been’. I think three top-five finishes were on the cards, but this is touring cars…”

Colin Turkington, Team BMW, said: “It was another difficult weekend for me here. My day didn’t get off on the right foot with a clutch issue. I had a great Race Two to get back up to seventh, which we thought would be good enough to get us a good position on the reversed grid, but they pulled sixth out of the hat, so I started seventh for the last race and on the hard tyre, as I’d used the soft in Races One and Two. The pace of the BMW was looking really strong on the hard tyre, but unfortunately I just got caught up in two incidents with cars coming through on the softs and ended up in the gravel. I managed to recover to 15th, so the positives are the pace was really good, but I just didn’t have the rub of the green.”

Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “It was a great day at Oulton Park for BMW and WSR. It was a fantastic day for Jake, a third and then a first that’s put him in the lead of the championship, so very good going. Colin had a bit of a problem with an overheating clutch, but he came through in Race Two. Unfortunately Adam got turned around in Race Two, and then Colin got turned around in Race Three and those were things we can’t control, but our pace is looking good and we’re really looking forward to the second half of the season.”

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