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Saturday, June 19, 2021

BTCC chief Hill can push to new stage

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Hill and his Ford Focus scored a hat-trick of third-place finishes within the opening spherical at Thruxton to take the factors benefit on the primary aggressive weekend for the brand new merger between MB and Motorbase Efficiency.

That additionally boosted the Motorbase Ford effort into the lead of the BTCC producers’ championship over BMW and Toyota, with the operation having moved out of the independents’ ranks for 2021.

Ex-Components 1 racer Blundell drove alongside Hill in 2019 within the AmD-run Commerce Value Vehicles Audi line-up, however he stepped out of the driving seat for 2020, when AmD’s crew of Honda Civic Sort Rs was renamed MB Motorsport, with Hill driving certainly one of them to seventh within the factors.

“I had Jake as my team-mate in my touring automotive debacle,” Blundell instructed Autosport, “and I understood precisely what I used to be up towards, and I may see the flexibility and the expertise that he had.

“We knew that if we acquired Jake into good equipment and with an excellent crew behind him, he may take an actual step ahead.”

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Jake Hill, MB Motorsport Ford Focus ST

Picture by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Motorbase and AmD merged over the winter, when AmD principal Shaun Hollamby and Pete Osborne, father of Hill’s 2020 MB Honda team-mate Sam, purchased out the Kent squad’s founder David Bartrum.

However Hollamby has since stepped away from the programme, and Osborne Sr has appointed Bartrum as joint principal of a crew that has built-in Motorbase and AmD workers collectively, with Hill and Ollie Jackson operating beneath the MB banner, and Osborne Jr and Andy Neate as Motorbase.

“The crew is a longtime crew as Motorbase in its personal proper, however on the identical time it’s a brand new crew within the merger with AmD and the brand new possession,” stated Blundell.

“So for us to return away with that end result on our first weekend is a really rewarding one.

“I believe Jake is a type of guys the place lots of people perceive his potential and his potential, and now he’s acquired the construction about him to take it to the following stage.”

Blundell stated he was notably impressed with Hill’s response to being baulked on his last lap of qualifying by Jason Plato, costing him a high grid place for race one, for which he began seventh.

“In himself there’s extra maturity,” added Blundell.

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“He confirmed that after qualifying with Jason – he’d be inside his rights to be blowing his high about it, however he calmly walked to the again of the storage and took it like an expert. That’s the perspective we’re making an attempt to instil.”

Blundell additionally praised Hill’s team-mate Jackson, whose possibilities of a high end result have been scuppered when he was pressured to pit within the opening race to take away grass from the radiator after his collision with Gordon Shedden on the primary lap, when he was mendacity simply behind Hill.

That meant he was enjoying catch-up for the remainder of the day, though he completed the finale in ninth place, with the third quickest lap of these on wet-weather tyres.

“Jake’s acquired a powerful team-mate with Ollie, and that’s a Positive as a result of he can maintain him on his toes,” stated Blundell.

“The issue within the first race was a crying disgrace as a result of he was on for a powerful end result.

“His efficiency reveals our intention is all the time to have depth throughout the entire storage – in their very own rights, they each had sturdy weekends.”

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