HILL RACES TO BEST RESULT Donington Park, England: Derek Hill's bold move to make his name in European motorsport took a major step forward on Sunday at Britain's Donington Park circuit when he finished a fighting fifth...
HILL RACES TO BEST RESULT Donington Park, England: Derek Hill's bold move to make his name in European motorsport took a major step forward on Sunday at Britain's Donington Park circuit when he finished a fighting fifth place overall in round 9 of the hugely competitive Formula Palmer Audi series. This represented his best race finish in Europe and he is now reproducing the form which saw him win the Barber Dodge series two years ago.
Hill started from seventh spot on the grid, quickly moved up to sixth place and by lap 4 was in fifth position. The rest of the twelve lap event he was contesting fourth spot with Ireland's Tim Mullen and although they ran nose to tail, Mullen defended well and Hill had to be content with fifth spot at the chequered flag.
Commented Hill, "It was frustrating not to be able to pass Tim. He was defending using the boost button and though I got close, I could not make the pass. But I'm happy to be at the sharp end of Formula Palmer Audi and proving that I can be race winner."
Victory in the race went to the experienced Justin Keen, ahead of Finland's Topi Serjala and Britain's Sam Hancock.
Hill's joy was short-lived, however. Later in the day, in Round 10, Derek was looking for another good result after qualifying sixth. But an opening lap incident saw Hill delayed by spinning cars and then in the Esses, he was attacked from behind by Martyn Smith. Smith misjudged his braking and hit Hill from the back running over the top of his car. The race was red-flagged as Smith suffered whiplash injuries. Smith accepted full blame for the collision but that was of little consolation to Hill whose car was too badly damaged to take the re-start.
Victory in this race went to Richard Lyons with Serjala again second and earlier race winner Keen in third place.
The next race will be the championship's only visit to Silverstone on August 22nd, thus giving the series a summer break and Hill time to reflect not only on his top five finish but also some of the driving standards in the series.