Cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy landed his first major motor racing trophy at Silverstone – but the new dad has admitted becoming a parent has left him feeling none of the pressure he once did when he was gunning for gold.
The six-time Olympic champion won the LMP3 class at the European Le Mans Series with fellow Scot Charlie Robertson, and is now well on the way to achieving his dream of racing in the famous Le Mans 24 Hours race.
The 39-year-old will get his first taste of the 24 Hours circuit when he takes part in next month’s official test day ahead of the big event.
Last weekend’s triumph came just four months after Sir Chris’ wife Sarra gave birth to their son Callum, 11 weeks early.
And the smitten dad joked the hefty silverware from his racing victory would dwarf the tiny youngster when he took it home to show him.
He said: “Becoming a dad is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. Everybody says that about having kids but it is true.
“It’s just great because you look forward to getting back and seeing him. I can show him the trophy – it is bigger than he is.
“You don’t want to think about family or anything when you are in the car because that does not help you to go faster but, certainly, since Callum was born you get a better perspective on life.
“Obviously I have retired from cycling, there is not the single-minded focus on one thing – it is a nice balance.
“Becoming a dad just puts an amazing perspective on life. Once you have a child you realise what is important, so you don’t worry about the trivial things.”
The record-breaking athlete is racing with Ginetta and Nissan, with Nissan’s race team teaching him the skills he needs for success on the road while, in exchange, he heads up their Team GB and ParalympicsGB effort in the run-up to the Rio 2016 Games.
But despite his level-headed approach to competitive sport in the wake of fatherhood, Sir Chris admitted there was a thrill to being on the winners podium again.
He said: “To hear the national anthem on a podium again was a real moment, not something I thought I’d get to do again.
“The biggest feeling is that you want to do a decent job.
“That is the over-riding feeling – it is not so much about winning, you just want to do a good job.
“Then when you realise you are in with a chance of winning – that is when you want to push on and seal the deal.
“Everything feels new and you have limited time in the car but it is the same for everybody. It is about learning as quickly as possible and taking in as much as you can.”