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Lewis Hamilton's brother, Nic, among Goudhurst racer Jake Hill's rivals when British Touring Car Championship season gets under way at Brands Hatch

Goudhurst’s Jake Hill will hope to build on his strong pace in testing when the British Touring Car Championship starts at Brands Hatch this weekend.

The former Ginetta star, who has joined the Trade Price Cars Racing Audi squad for 2019, will team up with ex-Formula 1 driver Mark Blundell this season.

Hill showed top-10 pace at the pre-season test at Brands last Wednesday, but will race for the first time this year on Sunday with F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton's brother, Nic, also on the grid.

Goudhurst's Jake Hill has impressed in BTCC testing Picture: Simon Hildrew
Goudhurst's Jake Hill has impressed in BTCC testing Picture: Simon Hildrew

“Living in Goudhurst and working at Brands as an instructor at the racing school many times, the circuit really is home for me,” Hill said.

“We will have lots of guests, friends and family there, and having won the independents’ category last year, I would love to do more of the same this weekend.

“I was really pleased to have set the good time in testing and it’s great the changes we made really improved the car.”

Jake Hill behind the wheel of his Audi during testing Picture: Simon Hildrew
Jake Hill behind the wheel of his Audi during testing Picture: Simon Hildrew

The Wrotham-based Motorbase Performance squad are running three Ford Focus machines this year for Tom Chilton, Ollie Jackson and Hamilton.

Chilton, who carries the 2019 title hopes for the squad, said: “I did so many laps in testing I felt a little dizzy.

“We’ve struggled a bit during testing following some developments and had to push quite hard.

“We’re now at the point where I’m happy and hopefully we can run at the front.”

Tom Chilton will lead the Wrotham-based Motorbase Performance squad Picture: Simon Hildrew
Tom Chilton will lead the Wrotham-based Motorbase Performance squad Picture: Simon Hildrew

Hamilton, who has cerebral palsy, will start his first full season in the BTCC this weekend.

“It’s going to be very nerve-wracking,” he said. “I’m relatively inexperienced in comparison to my competitors.

“I’m also the only disabled athlete on the grid, so I’m basically like a Paralympian in the Olympics.

“But it’s nothing that I’m not used to, I was pretty much born on the back foot so I’m super excited.”

Raceday tickets on Sunday cost £35 on the gate with free entry for under 13s. Visit www.brandshatch.co.uk

Nicolas Hamilton, brother of F1 world champion Lewis, is on the BTCC grid this season Picture: Simon Hildrew
Nicolas Hamilton, brother of F1 world champion Lewis, is on the BTCC grid this season Picture: Simon Hildrew

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