Making his Formula 3000 debut last weekend at Hockenheim, Brit Sam Hancock is certainly a driver on the move. Recently he's been having some fun in a couple of historic Lotus F1 cars at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and at Donington's Tribute to Ayrton Senna in June.

Sam spoke to Crash.net about driving these rather special cars, the likes of which he used to make as models when he were nipper. In part one Sam tells us about the last minute opportunity at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Firstly Sam explained how the last minute opportunity to drive a Lotus 49 up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

"It was supposed to be a leisurely weekend and then at the last minute Clive Chapman, who I'd previously driven the Lotus 79T for, gave me a call on my mobile mid stuffing my face over a picnic lunch asking me if I happened to have my race gear with me and saying that there was a very small chance that Jackie Oliver might be pulling out of the Lotus 49 for the last run of the day and did I fancy doing it? Obviously the answer came pretty instantaneously and later on in the afternoon he gave me a call to say we're game on," explained Sam.

"So I shoehorned myself into the car that Takuma Sato last drove, it was still setup for him and it was wonderful."

So what was it like going up the Goodwood hill, it's not exactly the kind of venue that a Formula One car's exactly designed for?

"It was a bit of an eye-opener for me as I'd not actually driven up the hill before and so I literally had time to look at the map painted on to a board at the startline to get an idea of where the road was going to go, and the first half mile when you roll down the hill from the assembly area to get an idea of what was coming up and learn the car and get a feel for how much power's under my right foot and all those sorts of things; everyone wants to see smoke off the line so I was having a play to see how many revs I needed to use and all things like that.

"What was amazing was how great the car was, I don't know how to describe it, so comfortable so, it just eggs you on and it took no time at all, and by the time I was at the bottom of the hill having rolled down from the assembly area, it was fantastic. All the fun stupid little things like you have a turning point where you roll down the hill, you have to turn around 180 degrees to line up for the start, and just doing the little donut there and little things like that, was just such fun to head it off the line.

"Up the hill was just incredible until I got about half-way up the accelerator jammed open on the engine and it went absolutely flat out, and thank god I was going in a straight line, I had just enough time to catch it, dip the clutch and turn the engine off, before we headed into the sharp left after the so unfortunately I had to turn off early, I didn't want to buzz the engine or anything with it jammed open.

Jackie Oliver had warned me about it, he said it had happened to him, at the end of his previous run so luckily I was a little bit prepared for it although I'd be lying if I said it didn't come as a slight surprise!"

In part two Sam talks about driving Ayrton Senna's first Grand Prix winning race car.

 

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