Nurburgring: Sam Hancock race report

Hancock finishes 2nd in class/6th overall, from back of the grid at the Nurburgring British sportscar driver, Sam Hancock, had an eventful weekend in the Nurburgring 1000kms -- round 3 of the Le Mans Series - resulting in a superb 2nd in...

Hancock finishes 2nd in class/6th overall, from back of the grid at the Nurburgring

British sportscar driver, Sam Hancock, had an eventful weekend in the Nurburgring 1000kms -- round 3 of the Le Mans Series - resulting in a superb 2nd in class and 6th overall, despite having had to start from the very back of the 44-car field following mechanical problems in qualifying.

[IMAGE]Troublesome starter motor problems on the Binnie Motorsports Lola-Zytek that Hancock shares with team owner Bill Binnie and third driver Allen Timpany, meant that valuable set-up time was lost throughout Saturday's practise and indeed, that the car failed to turn a lap in qualifying, meaning a back-of-the-grid start to Sunday's six-hour enduro. Fingers were crossed in the hope that educated guess-work on the set-up would provide the drivers an acceptable race car.

Hancock, a former LMP2 class winner here in the Nurburgring, took the start of the race and showed his pace with a forceful drive through the traffic ahead. Just one hour in and he was 6th overall, 1st in class. Once pit-stop strategies had unravelled the order he later handed the car over to team mate Bill Binnie at the 2 hour mark, 7th overall, 2nd in class.

An impressively quick drive from Binnie followed, the team owner clocking some superb lap times and showing perhaps his strongest form to date. The final run to the flag was then handled faultlessly by Allen Timpany who ensured he was well poised to take advantage of an epic dual for the class lead up ahead between the ASM Team Portugal Lola and the Rollcentre Racing Radical which resulted in the two making contact with just ten minutes to go -- the Lola continued unabated, albeit with a stop-and-go penalty for avoidable contact, but the Radical lost vital laps while stranded temporarily in the gravel bed. The ensuing chaos allowed the Binnie Lola to steal a march on its Radical rival, leapfrogging it to claim 2nd position at the flag. It was a fourth consecutive podium for the team and they now lie 3rd in the championship chase.

Sam Hancock: " Although, we had to rely on a little bit of good luck today to claim 2nd, I'm delighted to walk away with the result given that we started from the back. We've certainly had more than our fair share of bad-luck in the past year or so, so I've got no qualms with the tables being turned every once in a while! Either way, we were still right up there in the thick of it and everybody knows that in sportscar racing, you've just got to keep your nose clean to get a result and we just about managed to do that today which allowed us to take advantage when the others got themselves into trouble. As always the team did another superb job this weekend -- it wasn't their fault that we had problems on Saturday and they got their heads down regardless to give us a car that was reliable enough to get the job done in the race. Admittedly it wasn't necessarily the quickest car due to our lack of set-up time, but crucially it was comfortable and consistent. Hopefully we'll head out for some testing now so that when we arrive in Donington for the next round, we'll be quick straight out of the box. A very special thank you also to Zytek for yet another flawless race engine; and also Michelin who gave us a quick and very durable tyre this weekend."

-www.samhancock.com

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Sam Hancock