Sir Chris Hoy will race a brand new Nissan-powered LMP3 racer in the 2015 European Le Mans Series.
Last season the six-time Olympic gold medallist swapped two wheels for four, entering the British GT Championship with Nissan.
For 2015, Hoy is sticking with the Japanese brand on his three-year mission to become a fully-fledged Le Mans driver, by entering the European Le Mans Series. Hoy will drive a new car called the Ginetta LMP3, alongside 17-year-old Scottish racer Charlie Robertson.
2015 will be the first year of LMP3, a class of racing designed to bridge the gap between GT competition in cars like the Nissan GT-R GT3 Sir Chris drove in British GT and full-on prototypes that run at the world’s biggest races, like LMP2 at Le Mans.
Although LMP2 cars have to have one amateur driver in the line-up of three pilots, they are still extremely difficult to drive quickly for those with little experience of racing cars – especially those with lots of aerodynamic downforce giving extra grip.
LMP3 is thus the perfect half-way house, meaning millionaires can still get their racing car fix but from a much more forgiving package, allowing less experienced drivers to extract the most from the car.
Hoy’s route to Le Mans
Hoy is no stranger to racing, having competed in the Radical SR1 Cup in 2013, progressing to British GT for 2014. This new car is the next logical step on the former Olympian’s run to the world’s greatest endurance race.
The Ginetta-Juno – to give the car its full name – will be built by British sports car manufacturer Ginetta. It’ll be powered by Nissan’s proven V8 engine, regulated to around 420hp.
And at £99,000 plus VAT, it’s actually really rather affordable – especially when a full-blown LMP2 car costs £350,000.
Sir Chris will pick up the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award for lifetime achievement at the Beeb’s annual ceremony this weekend. Maybe next year he’ll make a name for himself in another discipline?