Chris Hoy will be the first summer Olympic athlete to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hour race, driving a Nissan-powered Ligier JS P2 racing car.
Driving for the Algarve Pro Racing team, Hoy will further what started as a hobby but has since evolved into a change of career. Hoy, who described the Ligier JS P2 racer as “the easiest and most intuitive car I’ve ever driven”, will race alongside teammates Andrea Pizzitola, and Brit Michael Munemann, respectively a Renault-Nissan Alliance athlete and Asian Le Mans Series runner-up.
The Ligier JS P2 is powered by a 4.5-litre naturally aspirated Nissan-sourced V8, which produces more than 444bhp and 420lb ft. It’s coupled to a six-speed Xtrac sequential gearbox. Nissan also provides Nismo engines to numerous Le Mans LM P2 and LM P3 class racing cars, in addition to cars in various other motorsport championships.
Weighing just 900kg, the JS P2 has a power-to-weight ratio of 493bhp per tonne.
Hoy progressed through Nissan’s driver development program and has been linked to the firm for some time, competing in the 2014 British GT Championship in a Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3. He then moved up to the European Le Mans Series in 2015 and, with Team LNT and co-driver Charlie Robertson, won the LM P3 driver’s title in a Nissan-Ginetta racer.
The journey to Le Mans hasn’t been plain sailing, however, with Hoy famously crashing a Nissan GT-R Nismo into hay bales at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.