“Gutted” Jake Hill vows to bounce back from Oulton Park disappointment
Jake Hill has vowed to bounce back from the disappointment of missing out on his maiden victory in the BTCC following the penalty he was handed for the clash with Matt Neal in race three at Oulton Park.
The Trade Price Cars Racing driver had started the final race from pole in his Audi S3 but came under huge pressure from Neal’s Honda in the opening laps, with the two making contact at Island on lap two when Neal tried to go round the outside.
Neal then made a move for the lead going into Old Hall at the start of lap three when he got up the inside across the start/finish line, with Hill trying to cutback for the run down to Cascades.
Contact between the front of the Audi and the rear of the Honda saw Neal send into a lurid slide in front of the pack, with Jason Plato and Tom Ingram both taking to the grass in avoidance.
Hill would continue out front and crossed the line first for what would have been his first win, with Neal eventually crossing the line down in twelfth place.
Post-race the decision to hand Hill a penalty dropped him down to 14th place and reflecting on the incident afterwards, Hill admitted he was “gutted” that a small error has ultimately cost him dear.
“The BTCC is all about small margins and ultimately, a small error has cost me my maiden win in the series,” he said. “I’m absolutely gutted not just for myself, but also for the whole team because we’ve worked so hard to try and get into a position to fight for a victory, and then we’ve had it taken away from us.
“Anyone who knows me will know that I’m not the kind of driver who will deliberately try and knock anyone off track. Matt made a move up the inside into the corner and when I tried to get the cutback, there was contact. It was a misjudgment when we were battling for position and there was no malice whatsoever on my part.
“Until that point we’d worked hard to improve the car as we were struggling for grip in the first race and the boys had done a great job to give me a car that was a fast as it was in that final race.
“Whilst I’m disappointed with the way that the weekend has drawn to a close, it only makes me more determined to come back after the summer break to try and fight for the win we should have had here.”