insideLine

12/06/2014 Progress for Hoy

Sir Chris Hoy has impressed on his debut season in the 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Championship in only his second year of motorsport alongside Alex Buncombe and the Nissan Academy Team RJN.  

 

After only a year's racing experience, in the Radical SR1 Cup, Hoy moved up "a very steep learning curve," to GT racing.

 

"You turn up here and see the motor homes and trucks, with great crowds and support," explained Hoy. "I've gone from real entry level novice racing to professional in British GT."

 

Moving up to the professional level has given Hoy plenty to learn, including the GT driving experience.

 

"The first thing you notice is the driver aids in a GT car," said Hoy. "Before, I was in a car with none of that. It doesn't necessarily mean that a GT car is easier to drive though!"

 

The transition has been made easier by the famed Nissan Academy Team. Despite not being a full member, Hoy is able to learn from the team that takes novices and turns them into competitive academy and graduate drivers. Topping off his education is his British GT team-mate Alex Buncombe.

 

Working as his coach, as well as his team-mate, Buncombe has been able to improve Hoy and help him on his way to making his stated aim of Le Mans in 2016.

 

"The Nissan Academy setup is the perfect background for Chris to be involved with if he wants to be a quick driver," Buncombe added. "He is in a great car, it's competitive and part of a great team."

 

In British GT, it's not only about the pro drivers quality, but the ability of the amateur and the dynamic between the two. So far for Hoy and Buncombe, there has only been positives according to Buncombe.

 

"How good your amateur driver is can make or break your season. In that sense, the more I can improve Chris the better it is for us." 

 

Luckily for the Nissan pro, Hoy is improving on the track. "Chris' times are definitely getting closer to mine. Every time he goes out we go through the data, the on board cameras and he's picking time off here and there."

 

The pairing got a chance to see how good the former Olympian is at Oulton Park, Hoy's local race track. On a circuit that Buncombe described as one of the weaker for the Nissan, the #80 Nissan GT-R GT3 took a ninth place finish. Race two on the other hand, was a more difficult affair with the GT-R GT3 only mustering a 13th place finish.

 

"It was a really good experience and I had a great start, making up a few places from the start line early on," reflected Hoy. "I think the first time you get on the grid in any motorsport experience it's terrifying but once you've started it's a different matter.

 

Rockingham, the second venue and the first endurance race of the season saw Hoy demonstrate his potential. On the start of the race, Hoy's first ever race lap of Rockingham saw Hoy make up several places before a collision halted the Nissan's progress.

 

Now, Hoy has raced at Silverstone, an experience that Hoy felt was 'massive' to do so in the early stages of his racing career. With the words of fellow drivers in his ear, Hoy is looking forward to Spa, a track that most drivers in British GT enjoy as he continues his fledgling racing career towards Le Mans.

 

However, Hoy is focused on the present: "I want to make the most of this and do the best I can," said Hoy. "I'm aware of how great an opportunity this is, racing a GT3 car in the British GT series. Many would like to do it."