Sir Chris Hoy To Compete at Monster Energy’s Gymkhana GRiD

by Nigel Chiu

British Olympic legend, Sir Chris Hoy, is set to race in this year’s Gymkhana GRiD final in Warsaw.

Hoy will drive a Hyundai i20 R5 Rally Car in the ‘European Gauntlet Finals‘ and will go head to head with some of the biggest names in motorsport such as Petter Solberg, Ken Block and Daigo Saito.

The 43-year-old can’t wait for the competition to start: “I’m incredibly excited to be competing in Gymkhana GRiD this year, the challenge of the unique format of the competition as well as the calibre of drivers I’m up against is something else.

“The adrenaline rush when you are on the start line of any race is massive, and when I’ve raced previously I’ve often looked across at the other drivers thinking ‘what on earth have I got myself into here’ Haha! I’ll be straight in at the deep end – bouncing off the limiter. It’s going to be surreal but absolutely incredible.

“I’ve watched the livestream Gymkhana GRiD videos online, but short of that I’ll be throwing myself into the unknown. From a mental approach – I think there’s a parallel between pursuit cycling or the team sprint – where you’ve got your opponent on the other side of the track, and you are trying to get round and finish before them. You aren’t focusing on them entirely, but you are constantly aware they are there.

“As long as I can improve with each run and get a benchmark of where I am in comparison to my rivals then I’ll get the most out of it. I’ll have a lot to learn about the course, and the car, but at the heart of it it’ll be about making the most of the opportunity and doing some big skids!”

Gymkhana GRiD is a unique event which sees elements of autocross, drifting, sliding in between cones and barrels and time trial racing with drivers going head to head against the clock to compete for the win on a custom designed course.

The event was founded by Ken Block following a video called ‘Gymkhana 2‘ making it the most viral video of 2009. Gymkhana GRiD itself made its international debut in 2013 at the X-Games.

Block was ecstatic to hear the Hoy news: “To have a multiple Olympic Champion race in Gymkhana GRiD is a huge honour for the series – and it really showcases how accessible Gymkhana GRiD is.

“What Sir Chris Hoy has achieved in his athletic career in cycling is absolutely incredible, and I’m very excited to have him come to Warsaw next week.  I know he also shares a huge passion for motorsport and is a big supporter and fan of Colin McRae.

“Colin is my biggest influence on becoming a rally driver as well as my driving style – so there’s going to be a lot to talk about. I’m sure that with Chris’ focus as an athlete he will be on the pace very quickly!”

Hoy has been competing in motorsport events since 2014, following his highly successful cycling career. He has raced in the British GT, competed at the Le Mans 24 Hours, Race of Champions, this year’s World RX of Spain and became 2015 European Le Mans Series champion in the LMP3 category alongside Charlie Robertson.

Gymkhana GRiD is another event to add to his impressive sports and motorsport career.

The event takes place next Saturday on the 7 September.

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