A day of mixed fortunes for the team was highlighted with a P4 finish for Jake Hill, as the Motorbase Performance-run squad battled hard at their home race at Brands Hatch Indy.
The team headed into race day with high hopes after showing strong pace in qualifying, with Jake Hill lining up on the second row and with Ollie Jackson having proved his ability to forge his way up the order in both rounds so far. The squad’s hopes were also buoyed by a passionate home crowd at the Kent-based circuit, as the championship continued to welcome a limited number of spectators back to the grandstands.
With greasy conditions greeting the drivers for the opening race of the weekend, Jake was jumped off the line by a couple of early fliers whilst Ollie held his position in the midfield. Ollie continued to hold firm and lap consistently throughout the race on the fringes of the points, until a last lap excursion dropped him down the order.
Despite losing places at the start, Jake wasted no time at all in earning those back, passing Rowbottom and reigning Champion, Ash Sutton. With Sutton looking racey behind, Jake had to balance between attacking the Hyundai of Tom Ingram in front whilst keeping Sutton’s Infiniti at bay.
An expert move saw the local favourite overtake Ingram into P3 and into the podium places before Rowbottom returned on the charge to drop Jake into P4. Keeping championship rivals Sutton and Ingram behind, Jake marked a positive start to the day by crossing the line in P4.
Race two started in excellent fashion for Ollie in the #48, after a typically strong start saw him back inside the top-twenty in no time. Gaining consistently throughout the race including a notable move on four-time champion Turkington, Ollie managed to cross the line just outside the points positions with his sights firmly forward ahead of the final race.
For Jake, the second race of the day promised so much until misfortune struck. In no time at all, the #24 was back inside the top three and closing in on the leaders of Oliphant and Ingram. With another strong points haul on the cards, Jake’s weekend took a turn for the worse as a puncture caused him to exit the track and forced him into the pits, effectively ending his race.
As race three rolled around, both drivers were looking to leave their mark on the weekend with a final roll of the dice. Unfortunately the team’s cruel luck had not ended and Ollie’s race was ended as his bonnet released freakishly, forcing him into the pits but the issue was unable to be corrected quickly.
Lining up in P27 after his unfortunate puncture in race two, Jake returned with a vengeance in the final race of the day at his home circuit. The 27-year-old clawed back five places inside the first two laps, and this soon became nine spots in six laps as he lay just outside the points positions at the half race distance.
Not content with that, Jake continued to forge his way through the field with expert moves on the BMW pair of Turkington and Oliphant as well as a fantastic battle with Gordon Shedden, in which the youngster triumphed. Ultimately, Jake’s overtaking masterclass took him to P13 at the flag and back into the points from the back of the field.
Despite suffering their fair share of misfortune, the MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square squad continue to rack up the points helping Motorbase Performance to retain second-place in the Constructors Championship. Jake Hill also retains P5 in the Drivers Championship as both Jake and Ollie look forward to returning at Oulton Park in four week’s time.
Ollie Jackson, #48 MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square:
“Sometimes you just get the feeling that it’s not your weekend, and the incident in race three pretty much summed my weekend up! It’s not been for the want of trying - the team and I have pushed and worked really hard throughout. We haven’t had the rub of the green but we know we can come back fighting at Oulton next month.”
Jake Hill, #24 MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square:
“It’s been a day of frustration, considering how things started. To turn it around in qualifying yesterday and to score strong points in race one, only made the misfortune in race two hurt all the more. The car has been brilliant all day and it gave me the opportunity to take out my frustration in race three. Taking fourteen places in that race highlights that things are working well all together and we now head to Oulton hoping for a really strong, consistent haul of points.”
Mark Blundell, Sporting Director, MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square:
“Touring cars have a way of letting you know when you’ve been in a battle and that’s certainly how this weekend has felt. Everyone at Motorbase has worked incredibly hard and we have shown glimpses of what we can do. It’s a sign of how competitive we are that we are all feeling disappointed tonight. We’ll use this as motivation and come back to fight on all fronts at Oulton next time out.”