Ollie Hancock stormed to yet another impressive podium following a last-minute call-up to race with Speedworks Motorsport at the 12H Italy-Mugello last weekend (March 13/14).
The 27-year-old finished the 24H INTERNATIONAL ENDURANCE SERIES event on the third step of the rostrum in what was his first time behind the wheel of an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 alongside co-drivers and fellow Britons, Devon Modell and John Gilbert.
His impressive performance comes after a string of consecutive successes in various GT events, including three podiums in the British GT Championship over the same number of years.
Indeed, Ollie was truly thrown in at the deep end, qualifying the SP3 class-entered car despite never having raced at the Italian track before.
A strong start to Friday’s race saw Hancock work his way through the pack up to second before a fuel surge issue halted the team’s progress, forcing them to short stint for the remainder of the first four hours of the race.
The event’s unique format – split between four and eight-hour sessions over two days – enabled Ollie to restart the second part of the race on Saturday, climbing from sixth to third despite being struck by an errant drain cover, before handing over the wheel.
Further excellent strategy and pit work from the entire team saw the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 cross the line in third, just over a minute ahead of its nearest rivals after some extremely close battles on track.
“I was delighted to be given the opportunity to race with Speedworks Motorsport, and even more so to finish on the podium!” said Hancock.
“I’ve only ever coached at Mugello with Fiorano Ferrari so, although I was familiar with the track, I had never done any flying laps there. Plus it was my first time racing the Vantage.
“That said, Speedworks Motorsport and I worked really well together and I think the end result reflects our hard work.
“The race had its moments – we had an issue with the car, but a brilliant strategy from the team meant that we were able to deal with it well.
“There were also a number of Code 60 interruptions to the race, including a drain cover that flipped up just in front of me damaging the front left tyre. But again, quick reactions from the squad meant that we were able to fix it without losing track position.
“All in all it was a great weekend – Devon Modell and John Gilbert were fantastic team-mates and very rapid! I got on so well with everyone in the team and hope that they’ll consider me again in the future.”
Christian Dick, Speedworks Motorsport Team Principal added: “What a fantastic job Ollie did for us! He had great pace and feedback from the off in a car he’s not raced before and, as always, was a pleasure to have around. A true team player.”