Youngsters Jake Hill and Tom Grainger tested for Motorbase Performance at Brands Hatch yesterday.
“We’ve given a couple of young drivers, at different stages of their careers, a chance to sample a touring car. We’re a Kent-based team and these are two young lads from Kent. Tom is starting out and Jake is battling to climb the racing ladder – neither of them is short of talent, just finance,” said team owner David Bartrum.
The duo got to test Mat Jackson’s NGTC Ford Focus and Hill, who has raced Ginettas since 2008, was pleased after his run.
“I got the news about the test two weeks ago and couldn’t believe it, I was totally shell-shocked! Hardly anyone gets the chance to drive a touring car so I feel very privileged and grateful to David Bartrum and Motorbase for giving me this opportunity.
“Considering this is my first time in a front wheel drive car, I’m quite pleased with how it’s gone! Everyone in the team has been really professional and helpful; Aron’s helped me massively with the car and Mat’s been giving me advice on the track and the S2000 has been mega! I’ve loved every minute of it and can’t thank David and the team enough,” said Hill.
Grainger claimed the MG Metro title this year in a car he bought for 900 £ and had a steep learning curve for the BTCC car.
“To be honest, I thought the test was a bit of a wind up! When David said if you win the Metro Cup I’ll give you a test in the touring car I thought he was joking! It’s been an amazing experience, and one I never dreamed that I would get.
“The test went really well, it was my first time ever on slicks and driving a car with a sequential gearbox so it took a little getting used to. It was a bit weird actually being in the car though; I’m usually the one taking the wheels off – not driving it!” said Grainger.
Team owner Bartrum was pleased after the test and hopes the duo will be able to continue to climb their racing career ladders.
“It’s been a pleasure having Jake and Tom here with us today and they’ve surprised me to be honest. They’ve both been a joy to work with; they’ve listened and followed instructions very well and done exactly what was asked of them.
“It doesn’t mean they will be touring car drivers for us next season, but it will give them an association with the team and it will give them experience of racing at that top level that they wouldn’t necessarily get elsewhere,” said Bartrum.