Five podiums in five for Hills
The 2018 Mazda Mx-5 Supercup, moved to the famous Castle Combe Circuit in Wiltshire for rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the championship. 22 year old, Worthing based racer Aidan Hills took the journey, full of confidence after being on the podium in the previous 4 race meetings, and sitting 4th in the championship out of 40 drivers.
Qualifying didn’t go to plan for Hills and he could only manage lap times good enough to see him starting 6th for races 1 and 2. He expressed his disappointment, “That was a real bad Qualy session for us, we made a change with the tyres and it didn’t work out, so it’s going to be hard in the races. I know we’ve got the pace to win, I’m just going to have to overtake some cars to get there!”
Race 1 started on Saturday afternoon and Hills got a trademark fast start which saw him move up to 3th after 2 corners. He did an amazing move round the outside of two championship rivals to take the lead through the daunting Quarry Corner. The lead was unfortunately short lived after a mistake a few laps later dropped him back to 6th. He managed to battle his way back up to finish in 4th place, and with fastest lap in the process. He was however very disappointed with the result, “I would say that’s up there with the most disappointing race of the season for me, that was my best chance of winning a race and unfortunately I made a small mistake, and at this level you can’t make mistakes. The class of driver in this championship is so high, you have to be on the top of your game all the time if you want to win races.”
Race 2 saw Aidan starting in 6th position again. Putting the disappointment from race 1 to one side, Hills put all his focus on getting a strong result and making sure he stays in the hunt in the championship battle. Aidan got a great start again and managed to claw his way up to 4th place after the first two corners. At the end of lap 2 the race was red flagged (stopped) due to a major accident involving 3 other drivers. Thankfully all the drivers were okay, but the race would be abandoned. This meant that Race 3 would be cancelled and race 2 would be run later in the day.
The re-run of race 2 Saw Hills get up to 3rd early on in the race and was soon in another battle for the lead. He was pushing really hard to get into the lead and went to the outside in quarry corner, where he ran wide and got the car very sideways. He just managed to catch the slide but as a result, he had dropped back to 6th position with just 8 laps to go. He did a storming comeback drive and picked off the other drivers one by one, showing his fantastic overtaking skill in the process. Hills then found himself in 2nd place with 2 laps to go. He had a big 2.5 second gap to catch the leader, He pushed hard but came up short at the finish line by just 0.17 of a second. He posted the fastest lap of the race while chasing down the leader which gave him a valuable 2 bonus points in the championship.
“Wow what a race that was. Starting from 6th made it difficult, but I got up to the front quickly and really wanted to get my first win. In hind sight I should have sat in 2nd for a couple of laps instead of pushing too hard to get into the lead. But fighting back through the field and posting fastest lap was amazing fun. To finish 2nd but be that close to my first win is hard to take, but another solid podium making it 5 podiums in 5 meetings is amazing, and taking the more points than anyone over the weekend is really going to help our championship battle. I obviously have to thank my dad, DMH MOTORS, DMH STORAGE and Discount Tyre Direct for all of the support they give me!”
Aidan has moved up to 3rd in the championship standings after his successful weekend at Castle Combe. The championship now heads north to Cheshire to the challenging Oulton Park circuit for the next round on August 4th.