Sam Hancock started opened his 2011 season with a class podium at the Dubai 24 hours after finishing second in the SP3 GT4A category and 15th overall in HMR’s Aston Martin GT4.

The Aston Martin Racing factory driver was invited to take part in the race by HMR team owner Humaid Al Masaood who is a member of The Drivers Club – co-founded by Hancock to provide high-performance driver coaching. Hancock and Al Masaood were joined by BTCC star Steven Kane and Radical regular Alex Kapadia.

Fuel economy would decide the results after leading the class during the early and middle stages of the race a three-way battle with the NFS Racing Lotus 2-Eleven and Valspar Donkervoort D8 GT soon commenced, but unfortunately for the HMR team the D8 would be more efficient to pull out a commanding lead.

Hancock explained: “We looked strong early on, but the Donkervoort made around seven stops fewer than us, which represents a huge amount of time.”

Not giving up the team pushed hard to the end but had to take two unscheduled pitstops after developing a soft brake pedal and a small suspension issue.

“HMR might be a young team but they still held their own against strong competition, were very passionate and desperately disappointed to miss out on the win.” added Hancock.

“I'd like to thank them and Humaid for inviting me, as well as for all their hard work throughout what is an extremely tough event. We can be very proud of what we've achieved this weekend. On a personal note, it was a good warm up for the new season. It never hurts to do another endurance race and the Dubai 24 Hours is always a huge challenge.”

Hancock returns to the usual position in the Jota Sport AMR GT2-spec Aston Martin in the Le Mans Series kicking off with the official tests at Paul Ricard in March.