Laser Tools Racing roars: double podium triumph at Donington Park!

Laser Tools Racing roars: double podium triumph at Donington Park!

Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport enjoyed a strong start to the year with two trips to the podium as Jake Hill recorded a brace of third-place finishes and a fifth-place to commence the 2024 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.

Beginning this tenth season for Laser Tools Racing on Saturday with the weekend's two free-practice tests, Jake Hill's prowess was evident, as he navigated his machine to 12th and 6th positions in the respective sessions, setting the stage for the newly revised qualifying.

New Qualifying Format:

In a new for 2024 qualifying format, the grid was split into two groups with Jake handed a place in the second group. Finishing 2nd in the first round of qualifying, Jake progressed through to the next stage which saw the top-six from each group make up the 12 cars battling for the six spaces in the final shootout. In this next session, Jake finished in 4th place and bagged his place in the top-six shootout. In the final part of the day's qualifying, Jake finished the session in 4th place to secure a coveted second-row start for the opening race on Sunday.

Race 1:

The first race of the 2024 BTCC season got off to a turbulent start as Donington Park witnessed a baptism by rain, forcing the opening race of the day to be delayed because of conditions too dangerous to race in. Once the standing water had cleared and after track inspections and discussions with the drivers, the track was deemed safe to race upon. As the opening race of the season eventually got started Jake Hill achieved a fantastic launch from the second row.

Flying past Ash Sutton and into third place, Jake continued on the attack and passed Colin Turkington down the Craner Curves, and moved up to second place within half a lap. Racing was paused after a big collision for Sam Osborne forced repairs to be made to the tyre barrier. After a prolonged safety-car session (safety-car laps are counted as race laps, with usually a few more laps added to the total once proper racing resumes), there was just a handful of laps remaining. Unfortunately, Jake lost a position to Sutton but nevertheless crossed the finishing line in third place to record a trip to the podium in the opening race of the season.

Race 2:

Race 2 bore witness to a repeat performance, as Hill unleashed another blistering start, and passed both Sutton and Ingram heading into turn one. He then tried to extend his lead at the front of the field but was soon caught by both Ingram and Sutton, falling behind both drivers before the end of the race to record back-to-back third-place finishes and trips to the rostrum.

Race 3:

For the final race of the weekend, and the reverse grid race, Jake was handed a seventh-place starting position. In the usual chaos of Race 3, Jake was able to make good progress up the order and came home in fifth place to round out a strong opening race day of 2024.

Reflecting on the day's triumphs, Hill remarked, "It was a successful day for me and the Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport team with third-place finishes in Races 1 and 2 in totally different weather conditions. It was raining and very tricky in Race 1 and then totally dry in Race 2, which was pretty good for seeing where we are in those types of conditions. Race 3 was extremely frantic with lots going on but we kept clear of it and got another good points-finish.

“Leaving Donington 3rd in the standings puts us in a great position heading to Brands Hatch and I'm confident we can keep the form going and collect more trophies!”

Jake now departs Donington Park 3rd in the Drivers' Championship with 42 points, 16 points adrift of leader Tom Ingram, as we head to Brands Hatch Indy (11 - 12 May) for the second meet of the 2024 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.