Jota Sport took some valuable championship points from a challenging weekend at rounds 3 and 4 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Rockingham.
After topping the timesheets with both Sam Hancock and Phil Quaife in Friday’s test sessions, the team couldn’t carry that pace into qualifying and the race, with Hancock taking a fifth and a fourth in Sunday’s double-header and Quaife bouncing back with a race 2 fifth having suffered a race 1 DNS.
Starting from fourth on the grid, Hancock didn’t get away cleanly from the line, losing places to Dean Smith and Charles Bateman. The former Le Mans Series LMP2 champion was quickly back into his stride however and enjoyed a thrilling battle with Bateman. Both drivers fought hard, with both finding themselves on the grass coming out of Deane at one stage, before Hancock finally took the position to finish fifth. Quaife’s race was over before it had begun when he suffered a gearbox failure on the warm up lap leaving him unable to take the start.
With Hancock starting fifth and Quaife seventh, both drivers made fine starts, each making up a couple of places on the first lap. Hancock dived inside Smith and championship leader Michael Caine to take third, with Quaife passing Bateman and Smith for fifth. Hancock defended his third place hard for 15 of the 19 lap-race, before a slight lock up into the final chicane allowed Caine to squeeze past. Quaife chased the Caine / Hancock battle in fifth, closing in at the midway point, before settling for a formation Jota Sport finish in fourth and fifth.
Team Principal Sam Hignett: “It’s been a learning weekend for whole team. The frustration is that we were so quick in testing on Friday, but didn’t transfer that pace into qualifying or the race. It’s a bit of a mystery at the moment so we need to sit down and have a good look at things before Donington in two weeks time.”
Sam Hancock: “Some weekends things don’t go your way and when that happens it’s important to score some solid points. That’s what we’ve managed to do and it’s a definite positive. The team worked really hard all weekend so another big thank you to them.”
Phil Quaife: “Things looked very positive on Friday, but the inclement weather at Rockingham affected the track conditions all weekend. The surface changed overnight and caused us some problems with our set up, but we’re all keeping our chins up and looking ahead to Donington.”