Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Jake Hill “beyond frustrated” after early season issues

Jake Hill admitted he was “beyond frustrated” with the early season issues that have hit his BTCC challenge despite putting his first points of the year on the board at Brands Hatch.

The MB Motorsport failed to log a finish at Donington Park during the season opener after engine issues on his Honda Civic Type R but looked set to bounce back on home soil during round two – topping both free practice sessions before qualifying on the second row of the grid.

Race day started with a tenth place finish after Hill struggled with the balance of the car on the Grand Prix loop, but a strong start to race two – where he had moved up into the top six – would come to a dramatic end when his engine let go on the exit of Surtees.

That left the team with work to do to replace the engine for race three, with Hill surviving a chaotic opening lap to move up into the points. However, contact from Matt Neal at Graham Hill Bend would then cause a puncture that leaves Hill with a single points score for the first six races.

“I really didn’t expect to be sitting here after two race weekends with only one finish so far!” he said. “My team have been fantastic – worked their arses off for me – and I love the lot of them. But the engine issues have been beyond frustrating. We now have a couple of weeks before Oulton Park so hopefully our engine partners Swindon can resolve this.

“To have had two retirements that were outside our control this weekend doesn’t reward the team for the fantastic work they have done over two challenging weekends to start the year. We know the Honda is a quick car and we’ll be ballast free at the next round where hopefully my luck will change for the better.”