Sir Chris Hoy, eleven-time world champion and most decorated Olympic cyclist of all time has signed with Portuguese-based Algarve Pro Racing for the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Hoy will drive a Nissan-powered Ligier JS P2 in the French classic and at the opening two rounds of the European Le Mans Series. He completes a driver line–up which includes Frenchman Andrea Pizzitola and 2015-16 Asian Le Mans Series runner-up, Michael Munemann.
“In motorsports terms, it’s everything,” said Hoy, following the announcement. “The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the pinnacle for me. It’s what I’ve been working for over the past three years. To get the news that I have a seat for Le Mans is amazing. I still can’t quite believe it.”
Hoy retired from cycling in 2013, the year after the London Olympics saw him crowned as the most successful British Olympian ever. He then focused on motorsport, entering the British GT Championship in 2014 in a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.
Hoy found support from Nissan who put him through its intensive driver development programme. Hoy graduated to the European Le Mans Series in 2015 in a Team LNT Ginetta LM P3, clinching the drivers title with co-driver Charlie Robertson.
“The time from my racing debut to getting a Le Mans drive has been short but many GT Academy athletes have done the journey even quicker,” said Hoy. “It’s incredible what can be achieved with the right support and the right people around. It has been a continued series of new challenges. But the LM P2 car I’m going to race at Le Mans is the easiest and most intuitive car I’ve driven.
The first round of the European Le Mans Series takes place at Silverstone on April 16.