Sir Chris Hoy. He’s a bit of an enviable sod, isn’t he? Not only is he Britain’s most successful Olympian, he’s also a bloody nice fella. We’d like to go for a beer with him. Or a protein shake. Whatever it is athletes drink. We’d also like to chat to him about his work as an ambassador for Nissan.
Being a brand ambassador is normally just an exercise in name association. Slap a famous name on your brand, watch it sell. On that basis, you’d think Sir Chris has his name all over Micras or something. Maybe a life-size picture of his face on the airbag so you can escape via the motivational power of an Olympian after hitting a tree.
Actually, there’s a bit more to it than that. First of all, he’s competed in the Le Mans 24hrs with Nissan, working as part of its Advanced Driver Training Programme. Impressive. But is it as impressive as learning how to go ‘full Bond’ in just two days?
By that, we mean this automotive polymath can now drive on two wheels. Which, given his sporting history, makes sense. The fact he learned the skill in two days just make us really, really jealous. If we tried this it’d take three year and an untold number of Nissan Jukes.
Working with stunt supremo, Terry Grant, Sir Chris quickly took to the art of ‘skiing’ (no, we don’t knwo why they call it that). At first he had a big stabiliser on the Juke, so as to avoid a write off. Pretty soon though, he was skating along (that’s why they call it skiing) on two wheels. Stabiliser flapping in the wind with nothing to do.
Day two, they headed to Kendrew Barracks and removed the side-mounted wheel. After a few attempts Sir Chris hit the ramp, popped on two wheels and away he went. Talented sod.
“I loved it,” he said after the event. “I never thought it would be as much fun as it was, but I just wanted to keep going. On day one I felt like I was only getting a first foot on the ladder and it’d be weeks before I’d be driving without the safety net. Then today when they took the stabilizer wheel off and there was the risk of rolling the car, the pressure didn’t get to me. I remembered Terry’s instructions and it all came together. When I caught the roll and was suddenly driving on two wheels it was such a rush of adrenaline and relief in equal measure – an amazing experience. Thanks to Terry and Nissan for allowing me to add another string to my driving bow.”
Well done Sir Chris. We’re deeply impressed. Now get that Juke on eBay before the warranty runs out. We suspect the suspension is a bit past it.