Did You Know?
Born 22nd February 1994 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent – christened Jake James Hill (middle name James after his Dad Simon’s boyhood hero James Hunt… ironically Jake shares his birthday with 3 times F1 Champion Niki Lauda, James’ rival for the 1976 F1 World Championship.)
Dad Simon was racing in the Champion of Brands Formula Ford 1600 series in 1994. Jake was ‘watching’ with Mum Tina, aged just 12 days old.
Height – 1.70m (5’7”)
Weight (in full racing kit) - 57 Kilos.
Attended Brenchley and Matfield Junior school and then Angley College in Cranbrook Kent.
Jake was awarded one of the school’s highest honours the Kirby Cup for Achievement in 2010 for his motorsport successes.
He also attended K College in Tunbridge Wells and qualified in Vehicle Maintenance, while taking in work experience at Team JOTA Sport.
His Grandad was Ronnie Hilton, who had countless top-ten hits in the 1950s and 1960s, including No.1 in 1956 with ‘No Other Love’ which won the Daily Mirror Record of the Year.
He also recorded ‘The Wonder of You’ which was subsequently covered by Elvis Presley in 1963, and the much-loved children’s song ‘A Windmill in Old Amsterdam’!
He also appeared as part of the ‘Royal Variety Performance’ on four occasions, and had his own Radio 2 show. He passed away in 2001.
Jake’s Nan (Chrissie), who was married to Ronnie, was a professional dancer in the 60s and 70s and was a ‘Black and White Minstrel’!
When Jake was just 3 years-old he made his one and only TV acting performance, playing his Dad Simon in a TV documentary made in Manchester by Granada TV, which told the story of Jake’s grandparents Ronnie and Chrissie’s romance in the 60s.
‘The Things You Do For Love’ was broadcast on ITV1 in 1997.
When he raced in Cadet Karts in 2002 for Scholartech his team-mates were GP2 driver Max Chilton and F3 driver Henry Arundel.
In 2007 aged 13 Jake returned to Karting in MiniMax after a 5 year break and driving for DG Racing won four of his five novice races.
Dad Simon drove for Tollbar Racing in the final two races of the 1999 Renault Spider Cup, finishing 2nd with fastest lap at Brands behind future 3 times World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx who had been his team-mate in 1998. Almost ten years later Jake also drove for Tollbar Racing.
His Dad now commentates on the BTCC support races for ITV Sport (except, of course, on Jake’s races!) and has covered WRC for MotorsTV, Le Mans for Eurosport, and for 20 years was a Senior Instructor at the Brands Hatch Racing School with drivers like Mark Webber and the late Dan Wheldon.
In his first ever car race in the 2008 Ginetta Junior Winterseries his team-mate was Josh Hill, son of 1996 F1 World Champion Damon (no relation).
Jake drives a 2001 Renault Clio 1.2
His hobbies are driving his 1/5 scale petrol-engined R/C Car, playing Gran Tourismo and Call of Duty on his PS3
Jake trains with ‘Dan the Bastard’ at Risebridge Health and Sports Club in Goudhurst who also sponsor him by letting him use their facilities.
He has recently started instructing for MSV at Brands Hatch, his local circuit, and is following his Dad’s history who instructed at the circuit from 1990 to 2010.
His ultimate ambition is to race in the Le Mans 24 Hours and ultimately to become a professional racing driver. Heroes include Richard Westbrook, Jason Plato and Allan McNish, and of course Gilles Villeneuve and Ayrton Senna.