MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square bounced back in style with a strong start to the second round of the 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch GP. A positive showing throughout the day closed with Jake Hill and Sam Osborne qualifying in P4 and P16 respectively for Sunday’s opening race.
Heading to their home circuit after a frustrating opening race day at Donington Park last weekend, the newly rebranded outfit were keen to make up for lost time and did so from minute one at the Kent circuit.
After engine issues hampered his opening weekend performance, Jake Hill responded in perfect style by closing out the first practice session of the day in P1. Jake’s teammate, Sam, in the #4 Honda Civic Type R ended up in P21 and would be looking to show progress throughout the day.
There was a feeling of déjà vu for the team at the end of the morning’s second session with Jake finishing up in P1 and Sam in P19 as Jake continued the perfect start to his weekend at his beloved home circuit.
As qualifying rolled around, hopes were high that Jake could continue to fight it out at the front of the grid and that Sam could show further signs of progress – and so it proved. In an incredibly tight session, Jake closed in P4 with the field’s top four separated by five-hundredths of a second. Sam made a move up the field closing out the thirty-minute session in P16 and as the field’s highest placed Jack Sears entrant.
With both Sam and Jake happy with the day’s performances, the challenge is set for the MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square team to convert a strong Saturday performance into a healthy haul of points on race day.
Elsewhere, Esmee Hawkey, the team’s Official Development Driver continued her strong start to the season claiming P1 in class in Porsche Carrera Cup GB qualifying. As a result, Esmee lines up in P8 overall in tomorrow’s opening race and will be looking to make her impact felt in tomorrow’s events.
Shaun Hollamby, Team Principal, MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square:
“That is a bit more like it! The engine issues that plagued us at Donington are behind us and I would like to thank Swindon Engines and TOCA for their support this week. Today we’ve seen a truer picture of where we are at and the talent we have within the team. Jake can really go racing from there and Sam is really in the mix too.”
Mark Blundell, Sporting Director, MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square:
“The ability to bounce back from disappointment is so important in motorsport so I am really delighted for Jake, Sam and all the team today. We’ve shown again that we have the pace to mix it with the best and the challenge is now to deliver another smooth operation tomorrow. If that’s the case, there’s every chance we will all be reflecting on a really positive weekend.”
Jake Hill, #24 MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square Honda Civic Type R:
“I’m so happy to have wiped away the disappointment of last week and today was the perfect way to do it. As shown in all the sessions, we’ve been quick all day. I wouldn’t be being me if I didn’t admit I was a bit disappointed to miss out on pole by such a small margin but we know we’ve got the package to give it a really good go tomorrow.”
Sam Osborne, #4 MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square Honda Civic Type R:
“We’ve ended the day in a good position heading into tomorrow and that is what Saturday’s in the BTCC are all about. I made a big jump in qualifying and I know that there was a little bit left out there too. We’re the highest-placed Jack Sears entrant heading into race one so I’m setting my sights on making the sure that is the case tomorrow evening too.”
Esmee Hawkey, #42 MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square Honda Civic Type R:
“It’s been great to get back out at Brands Hatch today! We’ve claimed P1 in our class for the second weekend running and P8 overall. I’d have liked a little bit more but we can certainly go racing from there tomorrow!”