17-year-old Scottish racer Sandy Mitchell will partner cycling legend Chris Hoy at the LMP3 Cup finale after winning the Sports Insure Young Driver competition.
Mitchell attracted the most votes from a 10-week social media campaign that offered nine drivers the chance to join the six-time Olympic gold medallist for the Donington Park round on September 16-17.
Over 8000 votes were cast during the competition, which was set up to find the next young sportscar talent through the new ACO-backed LMP3 Cup championship.
Mitchell, who is currently third in the British GT Championship GT4 category, won after beating a final top five that included Alex Sedgwick, Bradley Smith, Stephane Kox and Callan O’Keefe.
“I am so pleased to win the Sports Insure Young Driver initiative, it is an incredible prize, said Mitchell.
“To have this opportunity to drive the United Autosports LMP3 car alongside Sir Chris Hoy is truly special.”
“I would like to thank every single person that voted for me – the support has been amazing! I can’t wait to race at Donington Park, I will be giving it 100% and more. It will be a fantastic new experience.”
Hoy and Mitchell will share a Ligier JSP3-Nissan at Donington, prepared by the United Autosports squad.
Hoy tested the car in wet conditions at Snetterton last week, marking his first laps behind the wheel of an LMP3 machine since winning the European Le Mans Series title in 2015.
Mitchell, meanwhile, will get his first taste of the formula in the week leading up to the race, having driven single seaters and GT4s beforehand.
The addition of the ‘celebrity’ car will provide a boost to the LMP3 Cup grid, which attracted a season-low of five entries at Snetterton this weekend.
Series organiser Bute Motorsport is confident that it can built on the interest generated by the competition next year, which sees silver-silver rated pairings allowed to accommodate for teams hoping to field up-and-coming drivers.
“The whole process has generated a large amount of enthusiasm from all the shortlisted drivers and our changes to the championship present them with an opportunity to come and join us next year,” said Bute Motorsport managing director Chris Haynes.
“It’s safe to say we were not only amazed by the quantity of applicants, but the quality as well.”
“The fact we had drivers from top national championships apply is a tremendous show of strength for the LMP3 formula and particularly for our Championship.”