Jota Sport’s second-ever appearance in the Grand Prix-supporting Mobil 1 Porsche Supercup saw 28-year old Sam Hancock charge from 23rd on the grid to take seventh in a torrential downpour at a sodden Silverstone.
After a dry qualifying session in which 2.5 seconds covered the top 27 drivers, the heavens opened on Sunday morning to ensure a wet race would take place in dreadful conditions.
In front of the 100,000 spectators gathered to cheer Lewis Hamilton on in the afternoon’s Formula One race, Hancock produced a fine drive, climbing 16 places in the 14 lap event, three of which were behind the Safety Car.
12 of those positions were taken on the first lap alone, as the London-based driver carved through the field by utilising the improved grip and visibility off the traditional racing line. After ending the first lap in 11th, Sam’s progress was halted when the Safety Car was scrambled to remove debris from the circuit following an accident in the midfield, but when the green flag flew he made several more passing manoeuvres to claim seventh at the chequered flag, right on the tail of the two cars ahead.
Hancock: “I’ve been watching some videos lately of recent races here and also payed close attention to the Formula BMW and GP2 race this morning, so I had a pretty good idea where the grip was and what parts of the circuit were best for overtaking in these conditions. It wasn’t easy though and I don’t think I have ever done a race where visibility was so bad. It was like staring at a blank grey wall and I think we could have gone at least three seconds a lap quicker if I could have seen more and probably got up to fifth.
Sam Hancock took 16th place on his Porsche Supercup debut at Magny-Cours at the weekend, stepping up from the Carrera Cup Great Britain to the prestigious grand-prix support series.
The London-based driver, whose Jota Sport team entered the race in association with the ToLimit team, faced a steep learning curve in the ultra-competitive championship, Hancock qualifying 22nd, just over a second shy of the pole time.
A strong first half of the race saw the twenty-eight year old climb to 13th overall by mid distance, until a tag from behind dramatically dislodged his Porsche 997’s rear bumper, leaving it flapping behind the car, compromising both handling and straight-line speed. For the final seven laps Hancock defended from the chasing pack as best he could and ultimately reached the chequered flag in 16th position.