Sir Chris Hoy seeks a 'rush of adrenaline' in new motoring challenge

Ian Payne

Former Sports Correspondent

Sir Chris Hoy will be competing in the Le Mans 24 Hour race in June.

"Without wishing to be rude", I asked one of GB's greatest living Olympians, "But you're a big lad. How do you fit into the cockpit?".

Now, this is the sort of question you wouldn't ask certain celebrity sportsmen or women....but Sir Chris Hoy is a class act. Professional, courteous, and amiable, he dealt with this impertinence with characteristic chivalry.

"They've built me a special seat", he replied with a broad grin.

Sir Chris Hoy shows Ian Payne how he fits inside the cockpit. Credit: ITV News

Not content with six Olympic Golds and 11 world titles on two wheels, Hoy announced today he is to drive in the prestigious Le Mans 24-hour race in 11 week’s time. And he's no novice. He's been training for this for three years, and has already won a sports car title.

Like fellow former cyclist Victoria Pendleton, Hoy is taking on the challenge of another high performance sport since cycling retirement. Pendleton had a highly publicised run out at the Cheltenham festival, where she rode to a very creditable 5th place in an amateur race. Hoy won't win Le Mans. He's in a division 2 category car. But he could win his classification in the Nissan backed car.

Hoy said the competing in the Le Mans would provide a 'rush of adrenaline'. Credit: ITV News

"I'll probably driving through the night in two or three hour "shifts", and the seat will be adjusted for each of the drivers", he said.

"What is it about retired cyclists" I asked, "don't you just want to relax?".

"I can't speak for Vicky (Pendleton)", he told me, "but it’s just another challenge and a rush of adrenaline".

The 24-hour race takes place in the South of France on the 18th and 19th June.

"What'll you do after that", I asked. "One bridge at a time" he said, wisely.