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.
“But this is a very pleasing result for the team who have done a superb job both here and at Magny-Cours. When you consider that this is Jota Sport’s first year running these cars, I think to have a top-ten finish among the best and most experienced Porsche racing teams in the business is an exceptional achievement. We’ve learned a lot from our two Supercup races and it’s been a very worthwhile exercise ahead of our planned graduation in 2009.”