Jake Hill drops out of contention despite fifth win
Jake Hill was left to wonder what might have been after his hopes of a maiden BTCC title came to an end at Silverstone.
Hill went into the penultimate meeting of the year looking to close the gap to Ash Sutton in the standings and it was a case of mission accomplished in the opening race.
Going against his main title rivals by switching to wet rubber prior to the start, Hill took full advantage of the extra grip available with a dominant run to victory – moving him to second in the points after both Sutton and Tom Ingram failed to score.
It would prove to an emotional win for the West Surrey Racing driver, coming less than a week after the death of former team boss Dan Kirby.
Hill looked set to add to his win tally as he romped away at the front in race two but, after a safety car backed up the field behind, he would plummet down the order when his BMW picked up a misfire.
Late contact from Aiden Moffat ultimately left Hill back in P20 at the finish and further issues in race three restricted him to eighth.
As a result, he can now no longer win the title on Finals Day at Brands Hatch.
”It’s been a weekend of massive highs and massive lows,” he said. “The twists and turns in the first race were absolutely mental and I could see that the others had elected to stick with slicks as we prepared for the start. As the car dropped off the jacks, the rain arrived and I knew then that the race was ours for the taking.
“I made the best start and in the first five laps, I think I drove the best I’ve ever driven to avoid any kerbs and taking too much from the tyres. That went to plan because the car was still perfect at the end, and credit to the team for making the right call.
“It was a poignant win after Dan passed away, and I was proud to be able to dedicate my win to him. Dan was a fantastic guy and gave me a chance in the Audi in 2019, which I will always be thankful for.
“At that stage, the title fight was back on but then we had the misfire from a boost sensor failure outside our control, which means our championship fight is over.
“We’ll just aim to end the season on a high at Brands Hatch.”