ONE of the most successful sportsmen of all-time is swapping two wheels for four at Knockhill Racing Circuit this summer.

Sir Chris Hoy, who last Wednesday celebrated his 46th birthday, is synonymous with cycling and the Olympic Games, but is set to go motorsport racing over the weekend of July 2-3 at the McRae Rally Challenge.

The event will commemorate the achievements of the late Colin McRae, who became Britain's first world rally champion in 1995, and those of his father, Jimmy; brother, Alister; and third generation rising star, Max, and Hoy is the first special guest announced who will be taking part.

The Edinburgh-born rider's glittering career in the saddle saw him win six Olympic titles, plus one silver, to become the most successful British Olympian of all-time until last year, when fellow cyclist, Sir Jason Kenny, took that honour.

Hoy, who is Scotland's most successful Olympian, has won 17 global cycling titles across four disciplines and has won two gold and two bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games.

Since retiring in 2013, he has gone on to test himself in motorsport, joining the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) grid two years later.

Now he is set to turn his hand to rally driving and, after his entry to the event was confirmed, Hoy said: "I can't wait, I'm so excited to be taking part in this special event. Being friends with the McRae family makes this opportunity all the more exciting for me."

Stuart Gray, director of events at Knockhill, explained: "We cannot wait to see Sir Chris back at Knockhill taking part in the McRae Rally Challenge.

"He is very friendly with the McRae family and knew Colin. He was one of few people from outside the family to have driven the world championship (winning) car, so he has that personal link with the McRae's.

"He is the first of a whole host of rally legends that are coming to the event as we release more names over the next few weeks.

"Everyone at Knockhill is really looking forward to seeing him, and all the other stars, later this year."

The invitational challenge, which was last held at Knockhill in 2015, will be run for the second time and incorporate a variety of rally attractions.

They include two, one-day single rallies; a power-stage finale; a junior rally event; a head-to-head 'battle of the McRae's; static displays and dramatic, on-stage rally action.

An official ribbon ceremony to mark the renaming of the right-hand corner at the bottom of Duffus Dip as 'McRae's' at all rally and rallycross events will also take place, after the venue decided to mark the family's legacy.

Jimmy was the first to race on the track at Knockhill and is the current, record winner of the British Rally Championship, having claimed five titles, and also competed in the World Rally Championship.

Two of his three sons, Colin and Alister, followed him into the sport, with Colin, who died in 2007, winning the British Rally Championship in 1991 and 1992.

In 1995, he also became the first Scot – and the youngest driver – to win the World Rally Championship title, while Alister was a British Rally Championship winner in the same year.

Alister’s son, Max, is currently carving out a career for himself in rally driving.

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