Jake Hill is one of the new young lions of the British Touring Car Championship. Along with drivers such as Tom Ingram and Rory Butcher, Hill is emerging to take over the mantle of old-guard drivers such as Matt Neal, Jason Plato and even Colin Turkington.
At 27, Hill is heading into his eighth BTCC season, so he has served his apprenticeship and is ready to bid for the title with former F1 racer Mark Blundell’s refreshed MB Motorsport team, which has evolved from the successful Motorbase Performance operation.
Hill is fiercely competitive in the car but open and personable out of it. That has been key to him getting into the BTCC as there was no silver spoon for this youngster: he has got to where he is now by graft, ability and results.
Even before he was old enough to race, Hill was working for what he wanted. His earliest BTCC weekends were not as a racer but as a youngster cleaning wheels and doing odd jobs for the Red Line Racing Porsche Carrera Cup team. He is proof that a bag of family gold is not the only path into motor racing.
The BTCC, of course, is the prime focus of Hill’s season. He’ll spend 10 weekends from May to October fighting tooth and nail with 30 other equally committed racers. But that’s not the complete story for the racer from Tunbridge Wells.
Hill is steadily building himself a reputation in historic racing, too. Over the past three seasons, he’s been given the chance to race cars for owners and he has delivered in everything from a Lotus Elan to a Nissan Skyline R32, a Ford Mustang and, most recently, a Chevron B26 sports car.
His historic career started with a sensational win at the 2018 Silverstone Classic, when he kept Richard Wheeler’s Lotus Elan ahead of all the V8 monsters to win the Pre ’66 GT race. It was a result without parallel and instantly put Hill in the historic racing spotlight.
Over the Easter weekend he did it again, this time in the Chevron at Donington Park in the Masters Historic Sports Car Championship. He starred in the race and was set to claim second behind established Chevron ace Tom Bradshaw when the clutch failed.
Hill has done some testing for the Chevron’s owner, Simon Watts, in his newer Endurance Legends Lola but had never driven the 1973 Chevron until qualifying on Friday morning. He shared the John Danby Racing car with veteran racer Roberto Giordanelli, in what was, in effect, his first race in an open-top car.
“It’s great seat time before the BTCC starts,” says Hill after his virtuoso performance in the Chevron. “I really enjoy these cars. It’s racing the type of cars I’ve always dreamed of. I love it but I’m so gutted. I fell in love with it immediately when I drove it in qualifying, and I hope I get another go.” On those two performances alone, Hill is not going to be short of racing opportunities for a long time to come.