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Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Jake Hill: Back on the BTCC track

Jake Hill made is return to BTCC this season after missing the second half of last year. One round in and the man from Kent has already proved to us why he belongs in this level of motorsport.

Hill had his first taste of a BTCC car back in 2013 making his debut at Croft after racing in Ginetta GT Super cup in 2011 and 2012 respectively: however, 2016 was the first time Hill was entering BTCC for his full season.  Since then he has participated in 86 races, scored 204 points and 2 podiums. You may not think 2 podiums is much to get excited about but there is more to Hill’s story than numbers.

Hill took his maiden podium position at Brands Hatch Indy circuit in 2018 when he was racing for Team Hard. The track was wet but drying and Jake and the team had a decision to make, that decision scored Hill his first podium position when he finished 2nd behind Power Maxed Racing’s Senna Proctor.

Despite the excellent start to the season, Hill announced in July 2018 before Snetterton that he had parted ways with Team Hard. Hill was hopeful he would return. It left many gutted fans (myself included). Fortunately, after working hard Hill is back in BTCC for 2019 racing for Trade Price Cars Racing in their Audi S3 Saloon car with ex F1 driver Mark Blundell for company.
Jake and his dad Simon are two of the most lovely, dedicated and hard working men I have had the pleasure of meeting and knowing. I was there when Hill was on for his first podium at Silverstone back in 2017 and then had a mechanical failure, and I was also there when Hill scored his first podium. There have been some big highs but also some heart-breaking lows.

Hill made his comeback well known at Brands this year by making the right choice and opting for slicks in the wet and tricky conditions, much like the year before. Hill started 15th and worked his way up to 2nd having some very good battles on his way through, especially with Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat. Hill nearly followed it up in race 2 but only managed 4th on the grid, but still an excellent result. Race 3 was when the bad luck hit as contact with Ash Sutton led to mechanical failure and retirement. Despite that there is so many positives to focus on going forward. Hill is quick and he deserves good results and I’m sure not only himself but the team, his friends, family and fans will be doing all they can to get the best results possible every race weekend and pick each other up when it doesn’t go the way they desire.

Hill is back where he rightfully deserves to be and from what I can see, he has come back, stronger physically and mentally and is ready for anything. Personally, I was so excited to see Hill back because he is fast and he is genuine. I really wish the best for himself and the team. I cannot say enough good things about Jake and his dad Simon. I have supported Jake since I met him in 2017 and himself and Simon have always been the most friendly and welcoming people. You can see their passion, dedication and hard work a mile off. That is the kind of driver I want to support on this rollercoaster of emotions we love and call motorsport.

Best wishes for the season Jake and Trace Price Cars Racing!

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Charlie/Mini Moff

If you heard the name Charlie you would think of everyone you know called Charlie but if you heard someone talk about Mini Moff you would know exactly who they were on about; and that’s 6 year old Charlie. Charlie is Aiden Moffat’s mascot, he is a regular face around the BTCC paddock, joining Aiden at the autograph sessions and watching qualifying and races in the garage or hospitality. Charlie first attended his local circuit Brands Hatch when he was only a year old. But by then he had already picked Aiden as his favourite after watching him on TV at Brands Hatch in 2013.

I was lucky enough to meet Charlie at media day last week (thanks to his lovely mum Jane) and he just radiates happiness and excitement. He is just so happy to be there and he has so many people looking out for him as I saw Clio Cup driver, Jade Edwards come up to him and she picked him up and messed about with him. It was so nice to see him so happy around everyone. I asked Charlie if he ever expected to go to all these different races and be Aiden’s mascot and he said no, he just liked Aiden. I don’t think anyone expected it to work out the way it has but you can tell not only himself but his family are grateful for it as well. His mum Jane also helps out with hospitality (she sold me a shirt last season) and made everyone lunch on media day.

Charlie told me he wants to be a touring car driver, when asked who he wanted his team mate to be, guess who he said? Yes, Aiden Moffat! He said Aiden would help him and give him all the advice he needs to win. Charlie is only 6 but he has goals and that is never a bad thing! He is already karting and will compete in a few open meetings this year. He is being coached by British GT4 Champion Jack Mitchell (not a bad choice ay?) So, when Charlie is 7 he will hopefully be ready to join cadet karts and work his way to join Aiden in BTCC!

Until then, Charlie is just going to continue to hang out with Aiden every race weekend and support his favourite driver.