The dream of racing at Le Mans in 2016 for Olympic cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy took another leap towards reality, as he took his first victory in international motorsport alongside fellow Scot Charlie Robertson.
Robertson, who started in the #3 Ginetta-Nissan LMP3 car for the first round of the European Le Mans Series at Silverstone, made a clean start and handed over to Hoy at the half way point of the race. From there, the 41-year-old kept his cool, bringing the car to the finish in first after a great learning experience. After 4 hours of close fought racing at the "Home of British Motor Racing", Hoy and Robertson found themselves on the top step of the podium.
Since beginning his career in the world of motorsport, Hoy started off by racing in the British GT Championship with Nissan GT Academy Team RJN, making steady progress before moving into prototypes. The Scot took a podium at Spa-Francorchamps alongside GT Academy winner Wolfgang Reip, as well as showing great finesse in driving from 21st to tenth during one other race that season.
The Nissan brand ambassador for the "Road to Rio 2016" project, where the Japanese firm is the official automotive partner for both the British Olympic and Paralympic Associations, said that the whole weekend was "an amazing experience."
"I knew we had a good chance of making the podium when Charlie got that great start and extended the lead," he said, after having taking in a lot of information racing amongst other classes. "I knew I had to hang onto it. I had some scary moments, a couple of spins when the tyres started to go off.
But other than that I had a great time and I really enjoyed it. The car is great to drive, especially when it's on fresh tyres and for a novice like me to be able to come and race it, it shows how well the car is built."
Nissan's Global Motorsport Director, Darren Cox, said that with the win at Silverstone, it has given everyone behind the scenes a big boost. "Nissan has once again supported talent and motorsport," said the man behind GT Academy. "Making the commitment to take an Olympian to Le Mans and supply engines for a brand new unproven category continues to show that we innovate and take calculated risks to push this sport on."
The next round of the European Le Mans Series takes place at the San Marino Circuit in Imola on the 16th and 17th of May, where the pair will look to continue their winning ways.