Chris Hoy goes racing Radicals


Radical's new SR1 Cup series - kind of a Caterham Academy with downforce - is intended as a beginner's route into racing. But at least one of the field is anything but a newbie on the track, counting 11 world championships and six Olympic gold medals to his name. OK, he's more used to pedalling himself round the track but Chris Hoy's competitive instincts should more than compensate for any relative lack of motor racing experience.

Hoy with instructor and racer Ian Flux
Hoy with instructor and racer Ian Flux
Cyclists, eh. Can't escape them, even on the circuit! But it turns out Sir Chris is, like many PHers, perfectly happy to dabble in both pedal power and horsepower and has, over the years, been perfecting his track day craft between racking up the gold medals at the velodrome. And now that he's got a bit of time on his hands channelling that competitive urge onto four wheels was a natural step.

PH has had an early taste of the back to (relative) basics SR1 ahead of its first championship next season and mighty impressive it is too. 185hp is plenty to be going on with, downforce and slicks making for a very different feel from the minimal grip and rather more lairy Caterham Academy cars wannabe racers looking for an off-the-shelf entry into motorsport might consider. We've had a taste of that too of course, Radical obviously keen to offer a stepping stone to its faster and more established championships much in the way Caterham does with a £45K, fully inclusive step-by-step programme including car, ARDS test, testing days, sprints and then full-blown racing.

Don't expect him to be any less competitive
Don't expect him to be any less competitive
So what does Hoy make of the Radical? Obviously thrilled to have Britain's most decorated Olympian on board Radical hasn't been shy with the publicity, quoting him as saying "It's challenging but exciting" in a press release. "I think it's going to take me a little time to get used to the aerodynamics," he continues. "There's a bit of a leap of faith throwing yourself into the corner and braking later than the point you would normally brake ... so it's a whole new experience."

Instructors Andy Wallace, who guided us through our taste of the SR1, and Ian Flux (pictured) both sound impressed with Hoy's skills too. Beginner or not, anyone expecting an easy ride in the SR1 championship had best think again!


P.H. O'meter

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Comments (21) Join the discussion on the forum

  • MocMocaMoc 30 Oct 2012

    Broken said:
    A go kart track would make for excellent bike racing, similar to a criterium. It also works well for supermoto racing. Depending on the size of the track, about 30+ cyclists could give you a good race.

    You are far from the only person to think this of go kart tracks. I know that the local track to me was approached about using their circuit for cycle racing by a local club. They were keen and said it could be used. Shame that the owner of the land which is used for access found out and said if bikes ever raced there they would never be able to access the go kart track again and put a stop to it.

    Edited by Broken on Monday 29th October 18:29
    Haha, no I don't think I would have been the first. Our breed look at a shopping trolley and dream up ways to race them, I think.

    Shame about the land owner, but I wonder what his reasoning was? Seems a little mean spirited?

  • Broken 29 Oct 2012

    A go kart track would make for excellent bike racing, similar to a criterium. It also works well for supermoto racing. Depending on the size of the track, about 30+ cyclists could give you a good race.

    You are far from the only person to think this of go kart tracks. I know that the local track to me was approached about using their circuit for cycle racing by a local club. They were keen and said it could be used. Shame that the owner of the land which is used for access found out and said if bikes ever raced there they would never be able to access the go kart track again and put a stop to it.

    Edited by Broken on Monday 29th October 18:29

  • MocMocaMoc 25 Oct 2012

    ant leigh said:
    MocMocaMoc said:
    I've long suspected this - although I've never 'raced' a bike, I think throwing around a good fast road bicycle can help you race, in my case cheapy go-karts, quicker.
    I love watching the overhead shots of the TdF sprint finishes. You can see the sudden changes in velocity as the sprinters 'kick' and how close and precise the bike handling has to be at 100% effort. Especially when they use their heads and 'rub' their oponents out of the way.

    Also if you get a chance watch 'criterium' racing live. These are around tight city centre circuits. Bike handling/cornering is vital if you want to win and there are often crashes on the tricky corners.
    I've often looked at my local karting circuit and thought... how quick could I lap that on my bike?

    And, obviously, then comes the... how many cyclists would you need for a good race? Would it work?

    It's just my favourite mental illness (wanting to race absolutely EVERYTHING) surfacing again. Ha ; )

  • ant leigh 24 Oct 2012

    MocMocaMoc said:
    I've long suspected this - although I've never 'raced' a bike, I think throwing around a good fast road bicycle can help you race, in my case cheapy go-karts, quicker.
    I love watching the overhead shots of the TdF sprint finishes. You can see the sudden changes in velocity as the sprinters 'kick' and how close and precise the bike handling has to be at 100% effort. Especially when they use their heads and 'rub' their oponents out of the way.

    Also if you get a chance watch 'criterium' racing live. These are around tight city centre circuits. Bike handling/cornering is vital if you want to win and there are often crashes on the tricky corners.

  • MocMocaMoc 24 Oct 2012

    Stingercut said:
    As an ex racing cyclist, I can confirm it makes you a much better driver, observation is better, as is your appreciation of the best racing line and mental calculation of dynamic speed with people all around you in close proximity....oh...and not forgetting, an aggressive will to win wink

    Edited by Stingercut on Wednesday 24th October 14:05
    I've long suspected this - although I've never 'raced' a bike, I think throwing around a good fast road bicycle can help you race, in my case cheapy go-karts, quicker.


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