A new racing driver training company has been launched by Porsche Carrera Cup star and familiar face in the motor sport winners’ enclosure, Sam Hancock.
The Drivers Club is run by the renowned Jota Sport team to teach aspiring drivers of all levels the basics of high-performance circuit driving. Formed in 2000, Jota has prepared and run cars at all levels of competition, reaching the podium at Le Mans and in the ALMS.
Together with fellow drivers such as Williams F1 tester Jonathan Kennard and F2 racer (and brother) Ollie Hancock, Sam is gaining a reputation for easing the best out of aspiring drivers.
I was lucky enough to spend a day with Hancock and the Drivers Club crew. Following a few introductory laps by Sam, I got in the hotseat of the club’s Renault Megane 26R. The tuition is designed to allow the driver time to steadily build confidence and speed, so I was mightily impressed to be harassing Porsche 911s in the Megane round the Brands Hatch GP circuit after only a couple of sessions. A vote of confidence for the always-calm Hancock if ever there was one.
Then it was time to step up to the very quick Radical SR3, which I was driving with slicks and full downforce wings, and for the first time in my life too.
I didn’t need to worry though, as Hancock talked me through every braking point and apex, guiding me through each lap over the intercom. Even so, it was slightly alarming to be approaching Hawthorns flat out in fifth gear at 130mph and only being allowed to brake when Sam told me to…
Of course, the personal approach of this tuition doesn’t come cheap, but if you are either building a career as a racing driver or just keen to get the most out of your own car, it’s money well spent, especially when you factor in modern technology such as in-car video analysis and data logging.
Hancock has built up this venture to tailor tuition to each individual’s needs. For example, the driver of historic cars obviously needs a very different approach to someone who’s looking to get the best out of a modern single-seater.
The Drivers Club is the next level of personal driver training. If you’re searching for those last few tenths or just want to ease your way into motor sport in a professional and calm manner, this is an excellent way to achieve your aims. Visit www.thedriversclub.co.uk for more details, or check out a video of me in action with Sam giving tuition at www.motorsportmagazine.co.uk.