8 April 2014
Olympic hero Sir Chris Hoy to race in British GT
Six-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy will race in the British GT Championship with Nissan, with a view to Le Mans for 2016.
Six-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy is to swap two wheels for four wheels in 2014 with a drive in the British GT Championship with Nissan, it has been confirmed.
A true sporting legend, Hoy's seven Olympic medals and eleven World Cycling Championship titles combine to make him one of cycling's most successful athletes, a status he consolidated by winning two of those gold medals in front of his home crowd during the London 2012 games.
Hoy has since announced his retirement from two-wheel competition, but has since become a Brand Ambassador with Nissan as part of its role as Official Automotive partner of the British Olympic Association.
In return, Nissan's renowned Driver Development Programme, which has already helped a number of previously unknown drivers enjoy international success through its GT Academy competition, will look to turn Hoy into a honed racing driver despite his relative inexperience.
Starting with a drive in the official Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 in this year's British GT Championship, Nissan's aim is to help Hoy become a regular podium winner with a long-term view to incorporating him into their Le Mans 24 Hours challenge in 2016.
“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 programmes. It's fantastic for me to be working with Nissan GB on this,” he said.
“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 Programme 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.”
For Nissan GB Marketing Director, Guillaume Masurel, Hoy's arrival will be further validation for the firm's search for developing racing talent.
“At Nissan, we always do things differently. As Britain's biggest vehicle manufacturer, we are proud to commit our support for both the British Olympic Association and British Paralympic Association on the road to success in Rio 2016. Through our #uniteandexcite campaign we will be giving fans exclusive access to our team of athletes and showcasing their stories and preparation as we count down to Rio 2016.
“Now we can offer another new story, which is a further demonstration of Nissan's innovative thinking. We will be supporting the new talent and new technology through our partnership with BOA and BPA but in this case the new talent happens to be Britain's most successful Olympian. Sir Chris has already shown that he is a very capable driver and by combining our expertise in driver development, a great car and an experienced team with his natural ability, drive and determination, this will be a fascinating journey.”
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.
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