Goodwood Festival of Speed video: Olympic champion Chris Hoy crashes Nissan GT-R during Saturday shootout

Six-time gold medalist now races for Nissan in the British GT championship but suffered a nasty accident at the Festival of Speed

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The Independent Online

Six-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy may no longer grace the velodrome, but the competitive edge in him has led him to a different kind of track in his participation in the British GT championship with Nissan. So it was a rather embarrassing moment when the former cyclist careered off the road at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Saturday and crashed a rare Nissan GT-R Nismo.

The Scot, who partners Alex Buscombe in the British GT championship and hopes to take part in the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, was speeding up to Molecomb in the specially modified supercar, but failed to brake enough before tackling the notoriously tricky corner of the famous hill climb.

Hoy turned in to the left-hander, but his excessive speed sent him straight-on in a frightening accident, and he smashed through five rows of hay bales before coming to a rest.

Thankfully Hoy emerged unscathed, but the collision was enough to trigger the air-bag in the car – which is road legal – and heavily damage the front of the £125,000 Nissan. The 38-year-old waved to the crowd to show he was fine, and quickly donned a cap and sunglasses he has with him in the car, perhaps to hide himself from the shame of pranging one of only two Nissan GT-R Nismo’s currently in the United Kingdom.

Watch the video below:

After the crash, Hoy would write on his Twitter account: "Well that was embarrassing!

"I suppose it had to come at some point; just had my first proper shunt in motorsport at #FoS. I'm fine but the car looks a bit sore!"

And there was comfort for Hoy in the form of a reply from legendary five-times Le Mans winner Derek Bell, who wrote: "Welcome to the club!"

But he can take solace from the fact that he was not the only one to go off the track on Saturday, as a classic Surtees Formula One car driven by Max Smith-Hilliard went off at the same corner, having ran wide on to the grass on his approach to the Molecomb corner.

While the damage was less severe than Hoy’s collision, the knowledge of damaging a 42-year-old racer driven by John Surtees himself will not be a happy memory for Smith-Hilliard.

Watch the video below:

However, the biggest crash of the day went to experienced touring car and GT driver Anthony Reid, who smashed an Aston Martin DB7 in to the famous Flint Wall during his shootout qualification run.

Reid is always a much-fancied driver to top the timesheets in the annual shootout run, where drivers compete for the fastest time up the hill in any car other than contemporary F1’s. With his time on the money to challenge provisional leader Jann Mardenborough, Reid made a mistake turning into the Flint Wall corner and smashed the front-left of the Aston into pieces, leaving debris and fluid all over the track that would eventually bring an early halt to proceedings on Saturday afternoon.

Watch the video below:

There was enough time to send up nine-time rally champion Sebastian Loeb in his incredibly fast Peugeot 208 Pikes Peak, and the Frenchman didn’t fail to deliver as he clocked the fastest time of the weekend ahead of today’s final shootout run.