Jake Hill targets podiums after securing Team HARD return

Jake Hill says he is keen to challenge for podium finishes after confirming that he will return to the BTCC for a second full season in 2017 with Team HARD.

Hill had been linked with a number of teams during the off-season, but has now put together a deal that will see him stay with Tony Gilham’s outfit during the year ahead.

The former Ginetta racer joins Michael Epps in re-signing with the team, with Will Burns completing the three-man line-up.

“We had a few offers on the table after a pretty good season in 2016, but it’s been a funny winter as everyone has been getting their deals done early and the seats have been filling up quickly,” he told TouringCarTimes. “Normally it’s late February and into March before the grid is set, but we’re only at the end of January and it’s all pretty much done.

“With that in mind, I’m delighted – and relieved – that I’ve been able to get a deal done with Tony to remain with the team. The fact that I’m going to have the same guys around me can only help in my second full season, and I’m confident that we can make progress together to get the best results possible not only for me, but also for Team HARD as a whole.”

The 22-year-old finished 17th in the championship standings last year with a best result of fifth spot said he felt sure that the team’s new VWs – now running with RML-spec parts for the first time – would be a strong package on track.

“I’m so excited about getting behind the wheel of the Volkswagen,” he said. “The car hasn’t run on the RML kit before so we need to get a handle on the suspension during testing, but I have no doubt that it will be one of the strongest packages on track and we can hit the ground running when the season starts.

“I fully expect us to be challenging towards the top ten from round one at Brands Hatch, but given how quick the car is in a straight line, I really think we can push for the podium when we go to places like Donington Park and Thruxton.

“I’m really revved up for this season and can’t wait to get started.”