He’s an eleven-time world and six-time Olympic cycling champion – but now Sir Chris Hoy will take on a remarkable new sporting challenge. This time on four wheels.
Nissan, the official automotive partner of the British Olympic Ass’n (BOA) and British Paralympic Ass’n’s (BPA), recently signed Hoy as a Brand Ambassador on the Road to Rio 2016. The relationship will work both ways as Nissan will put Hoy through its advanced Driver Development Program – currently enjoyed by the winners of the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy competition – fast-tracking his evolution into top-level motorsport.
Hoy, who has already shown great talent in a number of club races, will compete in a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 car in this year’s British GT Championship. The ultimate goal of the program will be to get Sir Chris back on the podium and progress to competing with Nissan in 2016 at the Le Mans 24 Hours – the world’s most famous endurance race.
“Nissan is already a huge contributor to the British economy with its investment in manufacturing, technology and design – now it is also investing in British sporting success via the Team GB and ParalympicsGB program,” Hoy said. “It’s fantastic for me to be working with Nissan GB on this.
“When we sat down to discuss the relationship, we talked about how we could make things a two-way street. When I learned what had been achieved through Nissan’s Driver Development Program I was keen to take my enthusiasm for motorsport to the next level. This won’t be easy – but I could not turn down the chance to give it a go. My ultimate ambition is to race at Le Mans. That is the dream, but I’m taking this one step at a time.”
Hoy will race for the experienced Nissan GT Academy Team RJN. NISMO Athlete Alex Buncombe, who has helped all of the GT Academy graduates transition from gamer-to-racer, will partner him in the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 for the majority of the season’s seven race weekends.
The 2014 British GT Championship gets underway on Easter weekend (April 19-21) at Cheshire’s Oulton Park circuit. Within the championship rules, Hoy will compete as a ‘bronze’ driver.
“This makes perfect sense to us,” said Nissan’s Director of Global Motorsport, Darren Cox. “The Le Mans 24 Hours is the Olympics of motorsport so who better to take on an epic challenge such as this.”