Chris Hoy: Le Mans dream now a reality 31 | 03 | 2016

    SCOTLAND'S OLYMPIC CYCLING legend, Sir Chris Hoy, will achieve another "lifelong"  dream in June when he makes his debut in the Le Mans 24 Hours. 

    Backed by Nissan, the 11-time world champion and most decorated Olympic cyclist of all time will become the first-ever Summer Olympic Medallist to compete in the classic French endurance race.

    Hoy will join the Algarve Pro Racing LMP2 team in the world's most demanding endurance race, sharing its Nissan-powered Ligier JSP2 with team regulars Michael Munemann and Parth Ghorpade.

    Hoy will join fellow Scots, Bathgate's Marino Franchitti and Wishaw's Ryan Dalziel, on the 56-car gird.

    Hoy's achievement also marks a commitment he made on the eve of the 2014 race at the famous 8.27-mile La Sarthe circuit when he pledged: "I want to race here in 2016."

    The 40-year-old from Edinburgh — who I accompanied as he drove round the Le Mans circuit for the first time in 2014 in a Nismo Juke, just hours before the start of the race —  has already raced in the British GT Championship and European Le Mans Series in recent seasons.

    Last year, partnered by fellow Scot Charlie Robertson, he lifted the inaugural European Le Mans Series LMP3 title in a factory run Ginetta-Nissan last season.

    "I grew up as an avid fan of motorsport and my love for Le Mans goes back to when I had a Scalextric set as a boy," the delighted Scot said today.

    "Everyone knows it's the biggest race in the world, without question, and such a demanding event. This exciting opportunity represents the pinnacle of everything I've been working toward these past three years."

    Before heading to Le Mans, Hoy will join the Algarve team for the preceding ELMS races at Silverstone in April and Imola in May. In both races he will be partnered by Munemann and Andrea Pizzitola.

    And Hoy, who previously had experienced three tests in an LMP2 car, revealed he has already driven the Algarve car he will race at Le Mans.

    "I actually found the Algarve team's car quite easy to adapt to," Hoy continued. "I've always found that prototypes are more predictable than the GT3 GT-R I raced, purely because they feel more direct and you're dealing with less weight transfer and roll.

    “The time from my racing debut to getting a Le Mans drive has been short, but many GT Academy athletes have done the journey even quicker. It’s incredible what can be achieved with the right support and the right people around you."

    Related: Exclusive — Sir Chris Hoy interview

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    Jim McGill


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