Pole & podium at Goodwood after late call up

Sam Hancock departed this year's Goodwood Revival Meeting with more silverware to add to his collection, but not from the Sussex Trophy race that was originally anticipated to be his only event.

Qualifying 4th but finishing 8th in the Friday night enduro shared with his brother Ollie after a tough race in the Lister Knobbly, 34-year old Hancock was then called up at the last minute to drive Ben Shuckburgh's 1953 Cunningham C4R in the Freddie March Memorial Trophy.

Promptly setting his second consecutive pole position for the race, Hancock repeated his effort from last year in Stefan Ziegler's Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar C-Type. That he had never set foot in the Cunningham before added to the satisfaction, but with a margin of less that a tenth of a second over Darren McWhirter's Lagonda V12 Le Mans, he knew to expect a tough race.

Maintaining the lead into the first corner, battle duly commenced between Hancock and four-time winner McWhirter. Defending hard and wrestling the visibly recalcitrant Cunningham around the 2.3 mile circuit, the sell out crowds were treated to a classic duel as McWhirter gave chase.

Sneaking through on lap 5, the Lagonda was gifted a helpful cushion as Hancock was baulked while passing a back marker. With the gap soon stabilised, the Londoner set about reeling in McWhirter over the remaining minutes, in the process setting a personal best lap time 1.5s faster than his pole time, but just a tenth shy of the Lagonda's overall fastest lap of the race.

After seventeen laps, the chequered flag fell in McWhirter's favour, Hancock crossing the line 2.9secs adrift in the 'Private White V.C.' emblazoned Cunningham.

Still beaming, Hancock had clearly enjoy himself, "What a car! It's both beauty and beast - the engine and chassis are superb, the brakes ok, but the steering terrible! The original design creates so much free play that placing the car accurately on the track - let alone alongside another car in the heat of battle - is nearly impossible. But the challenge is hilarious and I found myself shouting, laughing, and despairing in equal measure throughout the race. It's like taming a raging bull but great fun for it. I'd like to think that we're friends now and that putting her on pole and finishing second shows the world what a fabulous and under rated car this is. I'm extremely grateful to my great friend Ben for the invitation, and to Kim and Mark for preparing her so well."

"I also want to thank Sam Thomas Racing for having Ollie and I in the Lister and improving it considerably since the last time out. We ran out of time to fine tune it for this race, but it's a big step forward and I can't wait to get her dialled in so we can join the battle at the front of the pack."

"Finally, and most importantly, my biggest thanks go to Lord March, his amazing staff and all of the marshals and helpers who once again put on another spectacular event. It amazes me how they do it year after year. We are just so lucky to be invited, it's become the highlight of my year."



Hancock awarded full membership of British Racing Drivers Club

London based professional racing driver, Sam Hancock, today became a full member of the prestigious British Racing Drivers Club.

The BRDC, as it is known, is arguably the most exclusive club in motor racing. With a membership that numbers only 850, it is home to the most successful racing drivers from Great Britain and the Commonwealth. Those who have met the exacting entry criteria have achieved at the highest levels of the sport, or made a significant contribution to enable others to do so. 

Membership of the BRDC is sought after and extremely difficult to achieve. The list of Members, past and present, reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of motor sport and Hancock's achievements, notably in GT and sports car racing at National, European and World level, have earned him the chance to fulfil what has long been a lifetime ambition.

As owners of the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, the club's priorities include the facilitation of the British Grand Prix and the fostering of young talent to ensure Britain retains its position as a dominant force in motor sport. 

Sam Hancock:

" This really is a great honour and I am extremely grateful to the club for the invitation and to the other members who kindly took the time to support my nomination. I've long been a fan of the history of the sport, so it is not lost on me just how special it is to be a part of a club like this. I'm looking forward to getting involved, enjoying some events and seeing if there's perhaps any useful contribution I might be able to offer, to give something back to the sport and the club."



Hancock fights back from 35th to 7th in Monaco Historic F1 thriller

British racing driver, Sam Hancock, fought from the back of a thirty five car field to finish seventh in the pre-1978 Formula 1 race in last weekend’s Monaco Historique Grand Prix.

The prestigious event, held on the very same streets of the principality used by the modern Grand Prix cars just two weeks later, is a bi-annual affair and features grids for both single seaters and sports cars from multiple eras in celebration of Monaco’s rich motor sport history.

Racing a historic grand prix car for the first time, London-based Hancock qualified his 1977 DFV-powered Fittipaldi F5A on the front row of the grid, just a few tenths of a second behind seasoned winner Michael Lyons.

 image: Tim Scott

image: Tim Scott

Disaster struck however on the warm-up lap when Hancock lost clutch pressure rendering him unable to do a standing start. With no choice but to fall to the back and roll through the pit lane in order to keep the car moving while the others took the start, Hancock joined the race at the back of the pack.

Proving that overtaking at Monaco is indeed possible, he set about scything his way through the field, setting provisional fastest laps along the way as soon as traffic allowed. Up to seventh by lap sixteen, his progress was curtailed when a Safety Car period suspended racing while crash debris was cleared. Unfortunately the wreckage was too great to clear quickly and the chequered flag fell without racing being resumed. 

Sam Hancock:

“ That was great fun. Bitter-sweet because while it was exciting fighting back through the pack, I’m sure I could have picked a few more off if we’d been able to race all the way to the flag. Even better would have been not to loose the clutch and start from the front as I’m sure Michael and I could have enjoyed a great fight for the win. With a bit of luck I’ll be invited back in a couple of years to set the record straight! My congratulations to Michael though on an impressive performance - and for annoyingly pinching fastest lap by a tenth right at the end there! Most importantly though, many, many thanks to all those who helped pull this weekend together. A lot of people, especially my Dad and the Chamberlain Synergy boys, worked their butts off to make this happen and it’s kind of nuts that they have to stand and watch while I get to di the fun bit! I really do want to thank them enormously for this really special life experience.”