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Sir Chris Hoy's next challenge is Le Mans

By raccars Published

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Can Sir Chris Hoy repeat his two wheeled success on four wheels, at Le Mans?

Sir Chris Hoy is what you might call an over-achiever. He has won 11 world championships; is a six time Olympic gold medal winner; has won more Olympic medals than any other cyclist in history; and is Britain's most successful Olympian athlete. In 2012 he retired from cycling and took up motor racing, originally as a hobby before being taken on as a pet project by Nissan. This year, he plans to compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship at Le Mans.

Somehow the 40 year old Scot has also found the time to write a couple of children's fiction books along the way, and is ambassador for both UNICEF and the Royal Air Force Air Cadets, and has been made an honorary Group Captain RAFVR.

Sir Chris Hoy's motor racing career

Sir Chris will be racing for the Algarve Pro racing team in an LM P2 car powered by Nissan in June at the Le Sarthe circuit. His first professional race victory was in the Radical SR1 Cup during the 2014 season. He has also gone through Nissan's GT Academy and raced in the British GT Championship in a GT-R Nismo GT3. Last year he raced with Charlie Robertson in a prototype LM P3 class in the European Le Mans Series, driving the Team LNT Ginetta powered by Nissan, where the pair won the driver's title.

This year's Le Mans 24 Hours race is what he has been striving for during a three year accelerated driver training scheme organised by Nissan. It's the first time that a summer Olympics medal winner has ever competed in the 24 Hours event at Le Mans. There have been a few hiccups on the road from cyclist to racing driver, notably when he crashed into a pile of hay bales in his Nissan GT-R Nismo at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The Algarve Pro team at Le Mans 2016

Sir Chris' team mates at Le Mans this year for Algarve Pro will be Briton Michael Munemann and French driver Andrea Pizzitola, driving a Ligier JS P2 using a naturally aspirated 4.5 litre Nissan V8. This unit pushes over 444bhp through a six speed Xtrac sequential transmission. With a kerb weight of just 900kg, the JS P2's power to weight ratio is 493bhp per tonne. The European Le Mans Series opens with races at Silverstone on 16 April, followed by Imola on 15 May before the Le Mans event takes place on 18-19 June.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans

The first 24 Hours of Le Mans was held in 1923, making it the oldest endurance racing event still active today. The race requires participants to marry speed with durability and efficiency, travelling over a combination of public roads and a specialist race circuit. The culture of Le Mans has come to represent the most environmentally friendly motor racing, introducing and encouraging the use of hybrid and electric powertrains.

Competitors begin racing in the afternoon and the cars will cover about 5,000km over the next 24 hours. The winner is the car which has completed the greatest number of laps of the 13.629km track during the race period. About 50 vehicles enter the event in a number of different classes, with a team of three drivers required for each under current regulations.

Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in the history of the Le Mans 24 Hours, with 17 wins including a record breaking seven consecutive years during the 1980s. Porsche won the event again last year after Audi's dominance in the 2000s.

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