Hill, from Kent, made his BTCC debut at Croft in 2013 in a one off appearance for Motorbase where he won the Jack Sears trophy in one of the races (The trophy was then awarded for the first S2000 spec car home). He raced for Rob Austin Racing in the finale the same year replacing Will Brat in an Audi A4. He then raced elsewhere including the British GT championship for AMD before returning at the 2015 finale for AMD in their Audi S3.
He now joins the BTCC full time thanks to the backing of RCIB insurance, who last year supported Kieran Gallagher at Team Hard as well as backing the four BMR cars later in the season.
Hill is happy to finally get a shot at a full BTCC season;
“I am so excited to have been given this fantastic opportunity thanks to Tony Gilham at Team HARD, RCIB Insurance and of course our long-term supporters Sportif Motor Group and our other fantastic partners. I have loved the BTCC races I’ve done so far and now hope I can show what I can do with a full programme – my first in any series since 2011 – now I’m gearing up for the media day in a couple of weeks and testing soon.”
Team boss Tony Gilham explains why he was so keen to get Jake in the teams second car; “With Jake joining Chris [Smiley], we have one of the most exciting pairings of young talent in the series. As soon as it became apparent we were in a position to run a second car then Jake was my absolute first choice. I really couldn’t have asked for a better line-up, and having seen how quick Jake is in everything he’s ever raced so far, it’s fantastic to finally have him as part of our family.”
Hill is due to start testing for the team shortly and will be running at the BTCC season launch and media day at Donington Park. He’ll then make his debut for the team at both his and Team Hard’s home circuit;
“Both the team and I are based in Kent so I know we will have lots of local support, especially from family and friends, which makes things even more special. I really can’t thank everyone who has helped make this happen enough – I just can’t wait to get started!”
“Jake is a great young prospect and we had many people asking us to help him get a drive, it’s exciting to be part of this reborn team and we believe the team can surprise a few people this year and be competitive. We love working with the guys at Team HARD and have enjoyed working together since they first entered BTCC.”
As well as the two BTCC cars, Team Hard will run several cars in both the VW Cup and the VAG trophy plus two Ginetta G55 GT4’s in British GT for Robert Barrable and Wilson Thomas in one car with Jordan Stilp and William Philips in the other.
2016 looks to be a busy year for the team. They will be hoping it’s also a successful one. By Marc Waller