In only their fourth ever Porsche Carrera Cup GB meeting, Jota Sport secured a memorable double-victory at Thruxton to truly announce their arrival as championship contenders in the UK’s leading one make series.
Having been denied a maiden win at Donington Park two weeks earlier when Phil Quaife was handed a controversial penalty, team-mate Sam Hancock made amends at the notoriously challenging Hampshire circuit by winning both races in fine style. Quaife meanwhile took another solid points haul for his championship challenge with a fourth place in race 1 and superb recovery drive to claim fifth in Sunday’s second race. To complete a perfect meeting, Jota Sport collected the ‘Team of the Weekend’ award while Hancock was named ‘Driver of the Weekend’.
Having secured his best qualifying position of the season on Saturday morning, Hancock started the afternoon’s race from the front row of the grid and made a good start behind pole sitter Michael Caine. Tim Bridgman sneaked past on the opening lap to relegate Hancock to third, which became second as leader Caine went off at the chicane and spun. Sam then fought his way back past Bridgman for the lead down the inside of Church on lap 3. A perfect race followed as he maintained a comfortable gap to Bridgman to win by 2.6 seconds. Quaife started fifth and made a strong getaway to hold his place off the line before inheriting fourth after Caine’s off. He defended hard from Charles Bateman throughout most of the race and was just 0.6 seconds from the podium positions at the chequered flag having closed right up to the tail of Tim Harvey.
Hancock started race 2 from third, but was up to second by turn 1 after a superb start saw him dive inside Tim Harvey. The pair battled hard throughout the opening laps, but Harvey ended his own challenge by tapping the back of Hancock’s car and lap 8 and breaking his own radiator. Sam quickly set about chasing leader Caine, who had lost his front splitter at the chicane having slid wide on Harvey’s radiator fluid, and took the lead with a move at Goodwood on lap 11. The final ten laps saw Hancock drive perfectly to complete a fantastic weekend. Quaife meanwhile got boxed in at the start and dropped to eighth. He looked to have recovered seventh spot on lap 3, but a tap from Nigel Rice saw him spin down the field to tenth. A fantastic recovery drive followed, despite the impact having knocked out his tracking, as he climbed the field to take fifth at the flag right on the tail of championship leader Caine.
Team Principal Sam Hignett said: “I’m absolutely delighted for everyone involved with the team. To score our first wins of the season in only our fourth ever Porsche Carrera Cup GB meeting is a superb achievement. This is a very tough championship, but now we can look forward with renewed confidence.”
Sam Hancock said: “It’s been a brilliant weekend and I’m so proud of the team, without whom this wouldn’t have been possible. We had some luck in race 1 because my tyre deflated on the warm down lap, so I took it easier in race 2 once I was in front and managed the gap to Bridgman.”
Phil Quaife said: “I’ve had some pretty bad luck this weekend, but have still escaped with a very useful points haul. I had a slow puncture in qualifying, which cost me a really quick time, and then got spun in race 2, so to leave with 26 points is a big positive.”