Charlie Robertson and Sir Chris Hoy aiming to make history at Silverstone

Charlie Robertson and Sir Chris Hoy aiming to make history at Silverstone

Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit will be the venue for a piece of motor racing history next Saturday, 11th April, when Scottish dream team Charlie Robertson and Sir Chris Hoy line-up on the European Le Mans Series grid for the opening round of the 2015 season in the brand new LMP3 Class.

Thrilled to be starting out his endurance racing career at the home of the British Grand Prix, Charlie is determined to hit the ground running with Team LNT’s spectacular Ginetta-Nissan LMP3 car and is confident of mounting a strong challenge to become the first ever winner in the new ELMS division.

“We’ll be thrown in at the deep end at Silverstone”, said the Whyteleafe driver, “I know the Grand Prix track well, but the European Le Mans Series is completely different to anything I’ve done before there. Endurance racing is all about stamina, consistent pace and, importantly, looking after the car. It’ll be very demanding, both physically and mentally, but it’s a challenge I am really relishing.

“The class we’re racing in, LMP3, is brand new for this year in the championship so we’ll only know where everyone is after we’ve completed qualifying. I’ll be going for the win, though, and I’m sure Sir Chris feels exactly the same – along with everyone at Ginetta and Nissan.”

Undoubtedly on the fast track to achieving his aim of becoming one of the UK’s top international racing drivers, the 18-year-old already has two championship titles to his name – the 2012 Ginetta Junior crown and the 2014 Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup. His talent has also been acknowledged by the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), with an invitation into its exclusive ‘SuperStars’ initiative.

European Le Mans Series – a major new challengeNext weekend’s season opening four-hour European Le Mans Series race will be the first of five events on the ELMS calendar, which visits some of Europe’s most popular and historically significant race tracks. In addition to Silverstone, the championship travels to Imola in Italy, the Red Bull Ring in Austria, Paul Ricard in France and Estoril in Portugal.

Very much a prime feeder category for those aiming to ultimately compete in the world-famous Le Mans 24 Hours, the series is regarded as one of the globe’s toughest and most demanding motor racing challenges and features a mix of prototype racing cars and GT ‘Grand Touring’ sportscars.

Charlie’s striking British-built LMP3 car, which was designed and constructed at the Ginetta Cars headquarters in Garforth near Leeds, is powered by a 5.0-litre Nissan V8 engine and delivers an impressive 420bhp. Over 30 cars in total, across the LMP2, LMP3 and LMGTE classes, will be entered for the opening round.

Driving time at the wheel of an ELMS car is shared evenly between two or three team-mates, in the case of Charlie and Sir Chris Hoy it means they will pilot their LMP3 car for approximately two hours each – which could either be one hour chunks or a two-hour ‘double-stint’ per driver. Pit-stops and driver changes, therefore, play a hugely important – in fact, pivotal – role in ELMS racing.

In order to maximise his potential and make the most of his maiden season in endurance racing, Investigo-backed Charlie has also significantly ramped-up his fitness regime. This has included rigorous training camps with Nissan’s GT Academy at St George’s Park near Burton-on-Trent, the Football Association’s first class training facility.

“My training has been stepped-up massively”, he added, “I’m training every day now, the LMP3 is a very physical car to drive so you need to do a lot of work on stamina and fitness to make sure you’re prepared as well as you can be. The training camps at St George’s Park are great – they are tough but perfectly geared to the demands of long distance events, like endurance racing.”

Following European Le Mans Series free practice at Silverstone next Friday, 10th April, qualifying for the LMP3 cars will take place at 11.30 on Saturday, 11th April. Round one of the 2015 season will then follow at 14.30 and is set to be screened live on Motors TV in the UK.

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