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– Sir Chris Hoy gets his first taste of Nissan NISMO-powered LM P2 car at Estoril after a day of planes, trains and automobiles
– Team-mate Charlie Robertson takes his turn today
– LM P2 Champions Greaves Motorsport run the LM P3 winners at prize test
– Hoy “driving extremely well.”Nissan Hoy15a

The 2015 LM P3 champions, Nissan’s Sir Chris Hoy and Charlie Robertson, are at Estoril in Portugal for their prize drive in the Greaves Motorsport Gibson-Nissan LM P2 car.  After battling through travel chaos caused by fog in the UK, Hoy made it to the Estoril track yesterday just in the nick of time for his test.

The LM P3 category was formed to create a real ladder of opportunity for sportscar drivers. As the LM P3 official engine supplier, Nissan was happy to provide an LM P2 test via one of its customer teams to the champions.

Fresh from winning the 2015 LM P2 title just two weeks ago, Greaves Motorsport gave Hoy his first LM P2 run today, during which he completed over 40 laps of the Estoril circuit. Robertson will take his turn today, following which both drivers will be assessed by the Greaves engineers on whether or not they are ready to progress to the faster category.

Hoy has impressed since he made the switch from Olympic cycling hero to racing driver, a move made possible by Nissan and its innovative GT Academy programme, which has provided training and support for Hoy during the transition. As part of his relationship with Nissan, Chris is also the head ambassador in the brand’s partnership with the British Olympic Association and British Paralympic Association.

This test marks an important step along Hoy’s road to Le Mans. He got his first taste of the mighty La Sarthe circuit in June when he took part in the Le Mans Test Day, but to compete in the main race he needs to step up to the LM P2 category.

Nissan Hoy15b“I’ve learnt so much from racing in the Ginetta-Nissan LM P3 car this year,” said Hoy. “Nissan’s driver development programme has been a proven success and that, coupled with everything I have learnt from Charlie (Robertson) and the Ginetta guys, has made sure I am ready to take the next step.  The Gibson-Nissan is an incredible car. I immediately felt comfortable and was excited to find that the car does exactly what you ask it to do and really encourages you to use the downforce it delivers.  It was wet today but even though the track was slippery I had lots of grip.  I would love to race that car at Le Mans – in fact I want to get back in it straight away.  The test was worth every moment of the journey to get here!”

Greaves Motorsport has a long and successful history with Nissan NISMO, as it has been the team of choice for the Le Mans debuts of GT Academy winners. Team boss Jacob Greaves was at Estoril to witness Hoy’s first LM P2 test.

“I was impressed with Chris,” said Greaves. “He arrived behind schedule but immediately focused on the job he had to do. His lap times were consistent despite the bad weather and he impressed our engineer with his driving.  We ran him all the way through until darkness fell and it was good to see that the change in light didn’t faze him at all.  He is driving extremely well.”

The ACO created the LM P3 category to provide cost-effective, low-maintenance prototype racing cars for constructors, teams and drivers starting out in endurance racing. The closed-cockpit cars, which are eligible to compete in the European Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Series, are built by a number of manufacturers but each one of them is powered by Nissan NISMO.

“The endurance pyramid is very important to the ACO,” said Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. “We wanted to create an entry-level category for our competitors and we are delighted with the success that the LM P3 category has enjoyed in its first year.  It is good to see Greaves Motorsport running Sir Chris Hoy and Charlie Robertson.  They both fought hard for their championship win so they deserve this prize drive. This test gives the winners a real opportunity to be assessed by a LM P2 champion and to open other doors for the future.  LNT team of which Hoy and Robertson are members also win an invitation for the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours in LM P2 provided they’re entered in one of our series. It’s an exceptional prize.”

Nissan NISMO power has dominated the LM P2 class again this year. A Nissan NISMO-powered car won every round of the European Le Mans Series and every round so far of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

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