Jake Hill hinted that he hopes to run a full Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship campaign in 2016 with AmD Tuning, as he makes his return to the series at Brands Hatch GP this weekend.
The 21-year-old steps in to replace Nicolas Hamilton in the team’s Audi S3 this weekend, the latter absent as he looks towards improving his own preparations for next season.
Admitting that the deal to replace Hamilton had been sealed just two days prior to Saturday’s action, former Ginetta racer Hill told The Checkered Flag after first practice that he aims to use the meeting as a ‘springboard’ for a 2016 charge.
“I want to stay in the same place. I want to make it here with Shaun [Hollamby] and focus on a full year of it next year”, Hill told TCF at Brands Hatch.
“I plan to stay in the Audi and continue with AmD. This is a springboard as Nic couldn’t do it for various reasons. It’s just a case of jumping in and seeing what it’s like before having a proper go next year. We’ll see!
“I’ve had an alright year in GTs and had good fun in the Porsche. Shaun has always wanted me to come to touring cars with him and it’s nice to have this opportunity to come at the end of the year.”
On the subject of what machinery the AmD Tuning squad may be running next season, Hill admitted to being still in the dark over final plans, hinting that a second Audi could potentially be in the frame.
He also said that the safety of at least one TBL licence is something they are confident about, adding: “I think so. I know there are probably going to be some new cars again for next year but I think that the TBL for this [Audi] is safe.
“Who knows what’s going to happen car-wise. There are talks of another shell being built and potentially the Focus going elsewhere – but it’s all talk at the moment; nothing is firm. At the moment it’s just these two cars until the end of the year.”
Hill’s opening outing at Brands Hatch GP circuit ended prematurely unfortunately, spinning out at Graham Hill Bend resulting in a red flag stoppage.
“Just lost the back end of it”, Hill admitted to TCF after FP1. “I caught the grass on the exit and it just threw me in. Annoying, but what can you do? Nothing really serious or mechanical is hurt – it’s purely bodywork.”
Despite the early setback, Hill – who won a Jack Sears Trophy outing at Croft in 2013 – had his positives to take from the session, saying: “I like it a lot, but first I need to get my head back into front-wheel drive – it’s been a long time since I was in a front-wheel drive racing car.
“We’re struggling for rear tyre temperature this morning and that’s what caught me out.”