Sir Chris Hoy sets sights on 24-hour Le Mans race

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BRITAIN’S greatest ever ­Olympian Sir Chris Hoy will fulfil a long-held ambition by taking part in the 24-hours Le Mans race of 2016.

The cyclist – who won six Olympic gold medals – is on course to feature in one of the world’s most famous motor races at the wheel of a Nissan car.

Sir Chris Hoy has already tasted motor racing success at Spa-Francorchamps with Nissan. Picture: Contributed

Sir Chris Hoy has already tasted motor racing success at Spa-Francorchamps with Nissan. Picture: Contributed

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Sir Chris has just had a ­successful first season in the British GT Championship, going from rookie driver to finishing on the podium in second place in a race at Spa in Belgium in July.

Now Nissan has announced that Sir Chris, who will ­collect the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Sports ­Personality of the Year Award ceremony to be held in ­Glasgow tomorrow night, will step up to a faster Ginetta-Nissan car next year, competing in the prestigious ­European Le Mans championship.

The man who began racing on wheels on a BMX bike in his native Edinburgh is, therefore, on target to compete in the Le Mans race proper in 2016.

He said: “I have always been a fan of motorsport and it was the late Colin McRae who really got me interested in competing.

“Nissan have given me the ­opportunity of the back of my role as an ambassador for their Unite and Excite programme for the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

“It was an amazing experience to compete in the GT series, and it just confirmed to me that I ­absolutely love the sport and want to continue.

“To have a dream of competing in the Le Mans 24-hour race seems a bit crazy at first, but then you think ‘why not?’ If I can do it with anybody, this Nissan team is who I can do it with.”

Sharing the driving of the car with Sir Chris next year will be 17-year-old Charlie Robertson, the Scottish teenager who is tipped to become a major force in motor racing.

In October, Sir Chris’s wife Sarra gave birth 11 weeks prematurely to their first child, a boy they named Callum David Robert Hoy.

After eight weeks of care in hospital, Callum has now been allowed home in time for ­Christmas.

“He’s doing really well,” said Sir Chris. “He’s been back home now for a week and we are just trying to establish a routine.

“He’s keeping us awake at night but it’s great and lovely to have him home finally.”

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