One of Scotland’s most talented young sportscar drivers is preparing to partner Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy in a 420bhp Le Mans prototype race car this weekend.
Angus teenager Sandy Mitchell, is to team up with the six-time Olympic gold medallist in a five-litre, carbon-bodied United Autosports Ligier JS P3 for the final round of the Henderson Insurance LMP3 Cup Championship at Donington Park.
The 17-year-old, from Letham, near Forfar, clinched the dream drive after winning United Autosports’ Sports Insure Young Driver Initiative, seeing off the challenge of some of the nation’s finest young talent to land the seat with 41-year-old Hoy, a former European Le Mans LMP3 Champion who completed the legendary Le Mans 24-Hours on his debut last year in an LMP2 car.
Mitchell, the 2016 British GT Championship rookie of the year had his first taste of being behind the wheel of the Ligier on Thursday and it relishing the prospect.
— United Autosports (@UnitedAutosport) September 14, 2017
“This weekend is going to be fantastic, and I’m looking forward to working both with Chris and United Autosports. It’s a special, and important occasion for me,” he said.
“I grew up watching Chris win his final cycling gold medal at the London Olympics, and then his path to car racing and completing his debut in the Le Mans 24-Hours last year.
“His approach to everything he does is 100% focused on achieving the very best he can be.“ It’s a philosophy I admire and one which I always try to replicate.
“Chris has experience of not only racing in LMP3 cars, but of winning, and receiving his insight will be really helpful in ensuring I can maximise my first outing in the United Autosport Ligier.”
The weekend will also be the teenager’s first race outing since his selection to the prestigious British Racing Drivers’ Club Rising Star scheme.
The scheme scouts the nations’ top talent from trackside as junior members of what is widely regarded as the most exclusive club in motor racing.
Ultimately, the BRDC — which owns and operates Silverstone circuit — hopes its Rising Stars will eventually graduate to full membership.
By achieving that goal Mitchell would join illustrious fellow Scots racing drivers, including three-time F1 world champ Sir Jackie Stewart, IndyCar legend Dario Franchitti and triple BTCC champion Gordon Shedden.