Sir Chris Hoy is one of Britain’s best loved athletes. Having dominated track cycling for 20 years, Hoy retired from two-wheeled competition after the 2012 London Olympics. In need of a new challenge, the six-time Gold medalist decided that he wanted to swap two wheels for four. Being a motor sport fan himself, Sir Chris Hoy was aware of various driving championships he could aspire to race in. Of course that is why he wanted to compete in the toughest endurance race in the world.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the most iconic weekend in the endurance racing calendar. Being hosted annually at the Circuit de la Sarthe – near the town of Le Mans, France – since 1923, it is a very special event for drivers and fans in motorsport.
Describing racing at Le Mans as a ‘boyhood dream’, Sir Chris Hoy allowed a BBC crew to film his journey from the velodrome to the race track over a four year period. This footage has now been made into an hour-long documentary, available to watch tonight on BBC Two at 9pm.
The programme allows us to see Chris preparing to race with successful Le Mans team Greaves Motorsport, however the dream almost comes to an abrupt halt when the Scotsman understands the team must withdraw their car from the championship. With less than three months until the 2016 Le Mans event, he finds a seat with a rookie team.
Having to learn a new car, prepare for the opportunity of a lifetime and knowing this is his biggest challenge on four wheels to date, makes for a fantastic documentary for any racing fan.
Hoy, who did finish the Le Mans experience despite early concerns with some technical troubles only hours into the race, described the whole weekend as “amazing”.
“I am delighted to have been a part of it,” he told the BBC back in June. “You need to be aggressive and fast, but you also need to treat it with respect.
“If you don’t attack it, you won’t get the performance. But, if you take liberties, you’ll be in the wall.
“It has been the most exhilarating experience. I knew it would be tough, but I did not underestimate Le Mans.”
Sir Chris Hoy: 200mph at Le Mans is broadcast tonight at 9pm BST on BBC Two.
Photo credit: Rajan Jangda – https://rajanjangda.wordpress.com/