Jake Hill feels Team HARD could visit the podium during the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season.
Entering his second full season in the BTCC with Tony Gilham‘s squad, Hill spearheads Team HARD’s assault in 2017 in one of three Volkswagen CC machines.
Battling an older Toyota Avensis chassis that lacked development in 2016, Hill tipped a much more competitive season ahead in a proven race-winning Volkswagen when questioned at the BTCC Media Day on Thursday (16 March).
“There’s still lots to learn about the car”, Hill told The Checkered Flag prior to venturing out on track at Donington Park.
“However, on the whole it is a much better package than what we had last year with the Avensis. It’s night and day compared to what it did at this stage last year.
“I’m very confident that the boys and myself can point the car in the right direction very quickly and be on the pace.”
Equipped with a Volkswagen CC carrying previous success in the hands of double champion, Jason Plato, Hill set his sights high ahead of a season tipped by rivals as one of the most competitive in recent years.
“I think we’re good enough to try and win a race this season”, he said. “I think we will end up on the podium and why can’t we end up with a win? We’ve got the car and mechanics this year to switch it on, so that’s my aim.”
While Hill ended the official Donington test 18th and less than a second adrift of pace-setter Tom Ingram, team-mate Michael Epps was just 0.6s off the best effort of the day in seventh.
Rookie Will Burns was 20th in the team’s third entry, although an excursion made him the catalyst of one of the session’s numerous stoppages.