Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Fifth podium and Independent success for MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square

THE MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square team maintained its impressive run of form in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship with a fifth podium finish of the season at Snetterton.

On the back of a hugely successful weekend at Croft in the previous event – where he secured a brace of top three finishes – rising star Jake Hill was able to add to his podium tally and also secured a first Independent class victory for the team, with Sam Osborne adding more points to his total in the sister Honda.

Having qualified on the front row of the grid after another impressive performance on Saturday, Jake headed into race one hoping to challenge for victory but lost out to the BMW of defending champion Colin Turkington on the opening lap.

As Turkington moved into the lead, Jake then found himself dicing for second with the Toyota of Tom Ingram for the entire race; briefly edging ahead only to wisely gift the position back after contact whilst completing the move.

Third overall was still a fifth podium of the finish for Jake, and also saw him secure the Independent class victory; the first such win for the team.

Starting from P18 on the grid, Sam’s focus in the opening race was on trying to score valuable points towards the Jack Sears Trophy and he would run as high as 15th before taking the flag in 17th; scoring third place points in the JST to close on the championship lead.

Jake would lose places on the opening lap of race two as he slipped down to sixth place, but would show strong pace throughout the race despite the additional success ballast now being carried on the #24 Honda.

Battling for position with the works Honda of Dan Cammish, Jake was able to beat his rival in a run to the line out of the final corner to take fifth place and another strong haul of points.

Sam would spend the whole race running on the fringes of the points as he diced for position with fellow Jack Sears Trophy hopeful Carl Boardley and managed to get ahead of rival on the final lap to secure second in class, and the final championship point.

A chaotic final race saw Jake in the heart of the action alongside a number of the championship contenders, and he came through the reverse grid race unscathed to end the weekend with a solid ninth place.

It means Jake ends the weekend sitting eighth in the overall standings and fifth in the Independents’ Trophy with just the season finale at Brands Hatch left to run.

Sam looked well placed to fight for more points in race three as a strong opening lap saw him leading the Jack Sears Trophy runners but his race would come to an early end when contact from Senna Proctor saw him forced off onto the grass and into retirement.

Despite that, he will head to Brands Hatch fourth in the JST standings; 25 points off the lead with 60 still available.

Shaun Hollamby, Team Principal, MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square:
“It’s been another strong weekend for the team and it’s great that we leave Snetterton with some more silverware to our name. Jake did a fantastic job in the first race and really put the pressure on Tom for position, and third was a really good result. His pace in the other two races was also really strong and means he now has a really good chance to end the year in the top ten overall, which would be a great achievement after a tough start. Sam has been unlucky with how the weekend ended as he had really closed in on the Jack Sears Trophy lead after race two, but his pace today has been strong and hopefully he can end his season on a high next month.”

Mark Blundell, Sporting Director, MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square:
“Both drivers have done a really good job again this weekend and to be taking home two trophies is fantastic for the whole team. Jake’s performance in qualifying was key to his result in race one and he has again shown his talent across race day with three solid performances. Sam deserved more from the weekend as a whole, but he still has a chance of the Jack Sears Trophy when we go to Brands Hatch and we’ll work hard to try and help him achieve that.”

Jake Hill, #24 MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square:
“We’ve had another fantastic weekend and it’s nice that we are now regularly in contention for podium finishes. Getting a first Independent class win is also nice; even if it’s been a little overdue! Race two was also pretty good apart from the start where I had too much wheelspin and in race three, I found myself in the wrong place at the wrong time when we were all battling in the pack and fighting for position. P9 was still a good result but we could have ended up battling for the podium again if we’d broken away from the pack. It’s all to play for in terms of the top three in the Independents’ title race and I’m hoping we can end the year well at Brands Hatch.”

Sam Osborne, #4 MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square:
“I felt confident going into race day as I knew we were in the mix with the other drivers in contention for the Jack Sears Trophy and after race two, things were looking good and there was only a few points between us at the front. The final race was disappointing as I think we could have had a really strong result there and maybe even taken the championship lead, but it wasn’t to be. I’ll come out fighting at Brands Hatch and see what happens.”


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