Hancock maintains British GT podium streak at Donington

Ollie Hancock made it three podiums in as many British GT Championship finishes after helping the FF Corse squad end their 2014 campaign on a high by claiming second place at Donington Park last weekend (September 13/14).The 27-year-old has only made sporadic appearances in the series over the last three years but extended his record of securing a rostrum on each occasion after finishing third with a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 last season and second at the wheel of a BMW Z4 GT3 in 2012.And Hancock was at it again during Donington’s two-hour season finale, only this time while sharing a Ferrari 458 Italia with Gary Eastwood after receiving a late call-up.The former Lotus factory driver’s task was made harder by only turning five laps in the car prior to the event and hot-footing it from the Goodwood Revival after competing in Friday evening’s Sussex Trophy with a 1958 Lister-Jaguar Knobbly. Saturday’s two free practice sessions were therefore spent getting further up to speed ahead of that afternoon’s qualifying. But a gamble to run different tyre pressures didn’t pay off for Ollie, who was disappointed to only set the 13th fastest Pro time. With the settings reversed, Eastwood underlined the car’s pace by lapping fourth fastest in the subsequent Am session to earn the crew a net sixth on the grid.Eastwood continued his good work at the start of Sunday’s race by moving up two positions over the course of his stint before Ollie climbed aboard at half-distance.Fantastic pit work by the FF Corse crew saw the car emerge third from its mandatory stop, right on the bumper of Phil Keen’s Porsche. The pair remained in close formation for several laps as each set about bridging the gap to race leader Michael Caine.It wasn’t long before both had passed the Aston Martin, Hancock taking second with a particularly eye-catching move around the outside at the fast Craner Curves. But with Keen remaining just out of reach ahead, the 2008 Formula Renault BARC champion was content to sit tight while managing the Ferrari’s fuel usage and tyre wear to the finish.“It was great to be back racing in British GT again, even if I had to wait until the final round of the season!” said Ollie afterwards. “I’ve never finished a British GT race outside of the podium places, and to do it in three completely different cars means a lot, too.“The deal came together reasonably late so I was on the back foot slightly. Qualifying didn’t go to plan, but this is such a competitive championship that you need to be 100% on it, and the change we made prior to the session meant we weren’t quite there. To beat the Porsches and Astons over a single lap was a big ask. Gary did a great job though, both on Saturday and Sunday, which put us right in contention over the final half of the race. I was able to pressure Phil [Keen] right to the flag and push him over the line. I was really pleased to jump in and grab another podium finish without any testing, so hopefully we can find a deal for next season.

“The FF Corse guys have been fantastic all weekend, and I must thank Gary and team boss Anthony Cheshire for the opportunity. I think we can all be very proud of the result.”

Related Motorsport Articles

82,683 articles