Sir Chris Hoy‘s British GT career got off to a promising start at Oulton Park, scoring a top ten finish in his debut race.
Owing to Hoy’s status as the team’s non-professional driver, the Olympian had to qualify and take the start of the first of the weekend’s two hour-long races. Hoy placed the car in a respectable 14th place on the grid, before working his way up to 9th by the time of his driver change with Alex Buncombe.
Unfortunately a safety car period put a halt to any further charge for the #80 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, with the team stuck a lap behind the leaders. They would eventually cross the finish line still in 9th position.
“There were a few exciting moments, especially when I got a touch from another car but he went off onto the grass,” said Hoy. “My rear view mirror was full of Ferrari for most of my run but I just focused on what I was doing and made sure I did the simple things correctly. It’s a beautiful sunny day here, there’s a great crowd and I feel like I’m a racing driver!”
Race two saw the drivers switch roles, with Buncombe taking the start, handing over to Hoy at the halfway stage with the car sitting in 13th place. Another strong drive from Hoy following yet another safety car period saw the team come home in a solid 13th place.
“I had a problem pulling away from the pits,” he explained. “I lost a few seconds there and when I got onto the track I got forced onto the dirty stuff at Cascades and lost a few more seconds. The Safety Car came out during my run and I got caught up behind two GT4 cars who didn’t seem interested in keeping up with the pack so that was frustrating.”
“I’ve had an absolutely brilliant weekend,” concluded the Olympic cycling champion. “It’s a privilege to be here. I really enjoyed it and now I can’t wait for Rockingham. Those two races have just confirmed how much I enjoy this. I’ve definitely got the bug!”