Jake Hill prevails for the race one win after getting the better of defending BTCC champion Ash Sutton at Knockhill.
ROKiT MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill battled back to win a thrilling first British Touring Car Championship race at Knockhill following a highly entertaining duel with defending three-time champion Ash Sutton.
Hill made a textbook getaway from pole position, but, as predicted, Sutton was hot on the heels of the pole-sitter as the BMWs struggled with tyre temperature during the opening laps.
Sutton performed a majestic move around the outside of Hill at the end of the opening lap of the race to snatch the lead away from the West Surrey Racing driver.
The NAPA Racing UK driver braked far later than the race leader into the final hairpin and dived around the outside of Hill, which then gave Sutton the high-ground and optimum line into Duffers Dip on the beginning of lap two.
Despite Sutton quickly streaking away, Hill re-caught the defending champion at a rapid rate of knots. Coupled with the BMW’s superior traction out of the final hairpin, hybrid deployment proved to be highly effective.
That meant Sutton looked easy pickings for the ROKiT MB Motorsport driver. However, Sutton performed heroics in the defence of his race lead and quelled Hill’s attack for a number of laps.
It took three attempts for Hill to wrestle the lead away from Sutton, but the BMW runner finally moved into the lead once and for all after slicing past the Ford Focus on the inside of Duffers Dips on lap 9 of the race.
From there, Hill romped away from Sutton and crossed the line over 3.6s ahead of the Ford runner.
Instead of applying pressure on Hill, Sutton turned his attentions to defending second position ahead of Team BMW’s Colin Turkington.
Four-time champion Turkington looked every bit as poised to snatch second away from Sutton, but the four-time champion couldn’t find a way past the Ford Focus.
Sutton and Turkington eventually crossed the line second and third, while Team BMW’s Stephen Jelley held off George Gamble for fourth position.
Sixth place for Tom Ingram means the EXCELR8 Motorsport Hyundai extends his championship lead over the rest of the field, while home heroes Gordon Shedden and Rory Butcher finished lying astern in seventh and eighth.
Dan Cammish and Ricky Collard completed the remainder of the top-ten in ninth and tenth.