That was Ollie Hancock’s single word summing up of his first day behind the wheel of a GT3 cars as the 25-year-old makes his debut with Ecurie Ecosse in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship.
Hancock was drafted in to replace Oliver Bryant, still feeling the after effect of a track day crash at Spa-Francorchamps at the end of July. After missing the two races at Snetterton Bryant was expected to return to the cockpit of the Barwell Motorsport run team’s BMW Z4 GT3, but as Hancock told The Checkered Flag the decision was made late on Friday for him to take namesake Bryant’s place alongside Alasdair McCaig.
“They teed me up and I came back from holiday early,” he explained. “I was out in Majorca enjoying myself when they said ‘do you fancy driving at Silverstone this weekend’. I said ‘yea, absolutely, I’ll take the risk’ so I got to the track for 1 o’clock yesterday, prepared as I usually would for every race weekend and then it got to 5 o’clock and I was told Bryant wouldn’t be racing and I was in the seat.”
After learning the car during the pair of hour long practice sessions it was Hancock who set the car’s fastest lap during the qualifying session, putting the car 13th fastest in the incredibly competitive 30 car British GT field.
“This morning the car was very nervous,” Hancock related to The Checkered Flag. “We struggled a lot. We could still string a time out of it but it was on the edge and taking a few risks so we made a few changes to the car between practice and qualifying for the better and then again it was the first new set of tyres I’ve used so I found a chunk of time.”
“Unfortunately, we had a cut-out problem we don’t know if it was fuel or electronics and that certainly lost me some time on my quick lap and that was lap three. The quick guys are doing their laps really early on, and I’m still learning it but I was there or there abouts. I’m quite pleased with my performance, I got the lap together, I think I went green, green, green-ish and did a purple sector on my first flying sector but you live and learn.”
Hancock continues to learn the car, explaining; “I’m seeing what I can get away with every lap, like stepping the braking point up into every area, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and qualifying’s all about the one-off experiments.”
Ahead, however, lies the longest race of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, the feature three hour race on the full Grand Prix layout of the Silverstone track.