Archie Hamilton will finally race in the Le Mans 24 Hours some 60 years after his grandfather won the legendary event.
Duncan Hamilton contested Le Mans nine times, winning in 1953 while co-driving a works C-Type Jaguar with Tony Rolt, and his descendent will now follow in his footsteps having signed to drive the G-Drive Racing by Delta-ADR team's ORECA-Nissan.
“This has been my dream for a long time,” the 22-year old admitted, “While it will be my first attempt it won't be my last but making my debut in the year of my grandfather's anniversary makes it very special.
Hamilton Jr has raced cars since 2007, working his way up from Formula Ford through to Formula Renault - where he became vice-champion in the BARC series – to the Porsche Carrera Cup and, most recently, the International GT Open, in which he finished third in the GTS class in 2012.
He has varied sportscar experience, having tested a Le Mans Prototype in the USA and raced a Lamborghini in the Dubai 24 Hours and sharing Porsche Supercup class victory with Ben Barker in last year's Baku City Challenge. He was recently selected as an MSA Academy member and awarded Rising Star status by the British Racing Drivers Club.
“While every car is different, I don't expect it to be too dissimilar from the prototypes I've driven before,” Hamilton, who has stood on the Le Mans podium after a Porsche Carrera Cup France race in 2010, said of his latest ride.
“It's amazing to join such a professional team. The team and car are a great combination and I'm really looking forward to the whole Le Mans experience. I'm really pleased to have Paul Thomas as my engineer and Simon Dowson managing the team. From the first time I visited the squad, I knew they were the best in LMP2. Alan [Docking] was a big part of my attraction to the squad with all his experience.”
As a 24 Hours rookie, Hamilton is keeping his expectations in check, despite the thrill of following in his grandfather's wheeltracks.
“Obviously, winning is the goal, but so much can happen,” he admitted, “To finish in my first year would be brilliant – anything after that would be an amazing bonus.
“I will do my best to look after the car, drive consistently and work with the team to get the best result possible. I will do everything I can to make my family proud of me for following my grandfather's driving line.”