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Jake Hill targets first British Touring Car Championship podium at Brands Hatch finale

By Dan Wright

Jake Hill hopes to score his maiden British Touring Car Championship podium at Brands Hatch this weekend after a heartbreaking mechanical failure robbed him of a chance at Silverstone.

The Goudhurst racer, 23, scored his best-ever qualifying result in Northamptonshire but was forced out of contention when a cruel power steering leak struck before race one.

But the Team Hard racer thinks he can score his first silverware at his home circuit this weekend - on a track which should suit his slippery Volkswagen CC.

Hill is targeting his first podium. Picture Jakob Ebrey

Hill is targeting his first podium. Picture: Jakob Ebrey

"I still think we can get a podium and an independent drivers win," Hill said.

"We are going to the final meeting of the year at my local circuit - my home race - and it is my favourite track on the Grand Prix loop.

"It is Team Hard’s home race too, and I am just hoping we have a car as good as it was at Silverstone."

Hill will hope to impress at his home circuit. Picture Jakob Ebrey

Hill will hope to impress at his home circuit. Picture: Jakob Ebrey

Hill sits 19th in the overall standings and ninth in the independent championship.

Meanwhile, the Wrotham-based Motorbase Performance squad will be hoping for a turnaround in fortune with their three Shredded Wheat-backed Ford Focus machines.

Lead driver Mat Jackson has won three of the last six BTCC races on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, but has had a difficult season and sits only 10th in the standings.

Three Motorbase Fords will be in action. Picture Matt Sayle

Three Motorbase Fords will be in action. Picture: Matt Sayle

Team principal David Bartrum said: "It was very frustrating for everyone in the team at Silverstone, especially at one of our strongest circuits.

"We have a bit of a mountain to climb now at Brands but hopefully our luck will turn and we can end what has been a tough season on a high.”

In the battle for the overall title, Colin Turkington says he will have to outscore rival Ash Sutton at every opportunity if he is to score his third crown on Sunday.

The Northern Irishman, who last won the title in 2014, enters the championship-deciding weekend 10 points shy of his Subaru-mounted rival, who only made his debut in the series last year.

Action starts at 9am on Saturday and 10am on Sunday. Tickets cost £15 on Saturday and £34 on Sunday, with under 13s admitted free. Visit www.brandshatch.co.uk for details.

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