Sir Chris Hoy made the perfect start to his endurance racing career with a class victory at the 4 Hours of Silverstone.
The 39 year old shared the #3 Team LNT Ginetta-Nissan LMP3 with Charlie Robertson in the opening round of the 2015 European Le Mans Series.
Starting from the back of the 31-car grid, Robertson worked his way through the order before handing the car over to Hoy for the middle stint.
The six-time Olympic champion then held his ground for almost two hours, leaving the car in an ideal position for Robertson to bring it home more than a lap ahead of the second placed car.
“I knew we had a good chance of making the podium when Charlie got that great start and extended the lead,” said Hoy. “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.”
“It’s the longest stint I’ve done in a racing car and I have the new challenge of the GT cars and the P2 cars around me too,” he added. “Everything was new to me and it was an amazing experience. 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.”
The #2 Team LNT Ginetta-Nissan of Mike Simpson and GT Academy winner Gaetan Paletou finished second in class, while the University of Bolton entry held third place at the chequered flag.
For Hoy, the result was the most significant of his motor racing career, and puts the Scotsman in good stead for the remaining four races of the season.
“It’s a stepping stone towards competing at Le Mans as it bridges the gap from GT3 to the LM P2 car that I want to race at Le Mans,” he explained. “I’m just trying to take in as much information and experience as I can from guys like Charlie and from GT Academy and this has been a great start!”
The second round of the European Le Mans Series will take place at Imola on May 17.