Chris Hoy began his 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Championship season this Easter weekend, finishing in a respectable ninth in race one and thirteenth in race two in the #80 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan GT-R.
He races for Nissan this year in the British GT Championship with the ultimate goal to compete with them in the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours.
As Hoy is a non-professional driver, the former six-time Olympian champion had to qualify and take the start of the first of the weekend’s two hour-long races.
“It’s a beautiful sunny day here, there’s a great crowd and I feel like I’m a racing driver!,” said Hoy before the racing began.
Hoy made a storming start and was up three places to 11th by the end of the first lap, he then held off a hard-charging Ferrari before pitting from ninth place to hand the GT-R over to Alex Buncombe. A safety car split the race in two, putting Buncombe a lap behind the leaders, so the best he could achieve was ninth by the chequered flag.
“That was brilliant fun!” said Hoy after the first race. “There were a few exciting moments, especially when I got a touch from another car but he went off onto the grass. 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.”
Race two began with co-driver Alex Buncombe taking the start, handing over to Hoy at the halfway stage with the car sitting in 13th place. After a sterling effort Hoy managed to keep the position until the chequered flag.
“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.”
Hoy ended the day buzzing after his British GT debut and looking forward to the next round in two weeks time at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby.
“I’ve had an absolutely brilliant weekend,” said Hoy. “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!”
Images: Nissan GB and Kevin Mc Glone of Red Square Images
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