Snetterton Race Report - Jake Hill
On the day that the 30th Olympiad came to a spectacular close in London, 18 year-old Jake Hill from Goudhurst in Kent celebrated a superb weekend's racing in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup, taking a 'Gold' and a 'Silver' in the first two races.
Hill's Tollbar Racing team had worked miracles on Friday night - spending almost 6 hours changing the car's settings after a difficult day's practise left them seconds off the pace. After getting support from four seperate people who each contributed the cost of one new Michelin tyre, Jake made the best of the new tyres and the new set-up to put in a stunning lap and qualify a mere 0.006 seconds behind Pole Position man Tom Ingram, both Jake and the team's best qualifying.
After slipping behind championship leader Tom Sharp, Hill initially had to fend-off Carl Breeze but soon began to pull away and catch the battling 'Toms'.
In one of the most spectacular overtaking moves seen at Snetterton all weekend, Hill charged through the long left hand corner at Palmers and used his extra momentum to slice past BOTH Sharp and Ingram into the Agostini hairpin....then driving a smooth and controlled race pull clear by over a second to Win for the first time in a 370bhp Ginetta G55, in only his third weekend racing the car, and show the pace that saw him become part of the BRDC Rising Star programme exactly two years ago.
"The team - Mike Flounders, Mark, Oscar, James, Paul and Mary - plus my Dad - have worked so hard to get the car right and get me on the grid - so to get this result, especially after such a tough day yesterday is beyond belief. I think that was the best overtake I've ever done! The car was mega - I'm so happy!" beamed Hill.
Starting race two from Pole Position Hill was beaten to turn one by Ingram and then edged wide by Breeze but immediately set off after the pair.
When Ingram's engine failed it became a battle between Breeze - who has one the most G55 races in the series - and Rookie Hill.
Several times Hill was close enough to pass, but the experienced Breeze covered every move and it ended up Breeze-Hill-Richardson at the flag.
"After Tom retired I knew I had to close Carl down quickly. I hadn't really appreciated how much the aero was affected when you close in at Snetterton so although I was close enough to try something I just didn't have enough grip when I needed it because the aero had gone! Another great result though and again the car was mega!"
Sunday's final race saw the top five on the grid reversed, meaning Hill would start 4th - and a busy first lap saw Colin White slam into the back of Hill's car at Montreal and Carl Breeze slip past. Poleman Jamie Orton had slipped to 4th, just ahead of Hill and the pair ran side by side through the Agostini hairpin, with Hill edged onto the grass and losing momentum, allowing White past. Into Hamiltons White got sideways and Hill was unable to avoid hitting the CWS machine, spinning White and damaging the front bumper of his own car badly - plus taking a wild ride across the grass!
Recovering still in 5th place Hill set about closing on Orton who was himself driving superbly. Just as Hill had set his fastest lap, the bonnet on his Red Tollbar Racing machine came loose, forcing him to pit for repairs. Sadly that was to be the end of the race with the car too badly damaged.
"I got hit pretty hard by Colin - he's wrecked the rear bumper and splitter - then once he was in front he got sideways and I hit him - which I didn't mean to do - and that smashed the bumper. The car actually was still pretty good but when the bonnet came loose it was all over the place so that was that"
Again it's been a massive struggle to get the budget to get racing so we just wanted to say that there have been some truly wonderful people we have to thank for getting Jake ON the track - they know who they are so we won't do another massive list.
"It's gonna be tough to get to Knockhill cost we have to find the costs for the car plus about £2,000 to fix the damage but we're gonna give it ago - We need to build on this success and get some more results so I can mount a Championship challenge in 2013"
The GTR Gimp's next meeting is at Knockhill in Scotland on the 25 - 26th August. Jake now hopes that the 'Gimp' will be removed as he thinks he has proved that he should be known as the GTROC Trackday Advisor!
GTROC Motorsport Coordinator