They'll make a film out of this one day – one six-time Olympic gold medalist's hunt for the last sweet taste of success. A classic plucky British success story – for Sir Chris Hoy and a Caterham Seven 620R have smashed the record for most donuts in 60 seconds.
The scene of the iconic record-breaking moment? Donington Park race track near Leicester. The result? 19 donuts and a pair of very sorry-looking rear tyres.
Powered by a supercharged 310bhp 2-litre Ford Duratec engine and equipped with a limited slip differential, the 620R was the ideal candidate for the donut challenge. Riding on a set of ultra-high performance Avon ZZS tyres, it all seemed to be fairly easy for Sir Chris. Those tyres, while completely street legal, are typically used in the Caterham Motorsport championships.
Caterham has been celebrating 60 years of the iconic Seven mode, and part of that year-long celebration – alongside the 60-second donut challenge – has also included the introduction of two new models, the Seven Sprint, a lovely retro model powered by an 80bhp engine and the handsome Seven Supersprint, a more modern interpretation equipped with a 95bhp engine. The two cars were unveiled earlier in the year and sold out in record time.
'When we entered the Seven’s 60th anniversary celebrations we knew we wanted it to be a milestone year,' said Caterham CEO Graham MacDonald. 'However, we didn’t realise it would be a record breaking year on so many different counts. Topping off the year, after such a strong sales performance, with a record from an Olympic icon is quite a way to round it all off.'
Gallery: Caterham Seven 620R Donuts Record
Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy is no stranger when it comes to record-breaking achievements on two wheels, but now the Scot can lay claim to his first record on four wheels.
Joining Caterham to celebrate 60 years of the Seven, Sir Chris took on the ‘60 Second Donut Challenge’ at Donington Park. Sat inside Caterham’s most powerful model, the Seven 620R, Sir Chris completed a record 19 consecutive donuts in the time allocation.
“Everyone knows I spend a lot of time in cars these days but I’ve never had much practice donuting,” admitted Sir Chris. “But when someone tells me there’s a record up for grabs that certainly focuses my mind.
“During the attempt I just kept going, putting everything I’d learnt into practice. You lose sense of time when you’re in a spin, so I was shocked when I was told I’d completed 19 in 60 seconds – it was more than I expected.”
The beastly 620R was the chosen Seven for the record attempt, as its supercharged 2.0 litre Ford Duratec engine and limited slip differential made the perfect combination for successive spins.
Also contributing to the success of the record was the set of ultra-high performance Avon ZZS tyres that were bolted to the raucous 620R. The ZZS rubber, while entirely road legal, is more often found being used on the racetrack, including as the control tyre for several Caterham Motorsport championships.
Offering the ultimate in grip in wet and dry conditions, the ZZS has a full racing tread compound and was the ideal fusion of performance and durability for Sir Chris’s donut attempt.
The new donut record concludes an epic year of celebrations for the Seven following the launch of two limited-edition models created for the anniversary: the retro Seven Sprint and gentleman’s racer Seven Supersprint. Both cars went on to sell out in record time – the Seven Sprint in seven days and Seven SuperSprint in an incredible seven hours – while Caterham recently confirmed their best sales year since 1996 with over 600 orders made.
Graham Macdonald, Caterham’s Chief Executive Officer, added: “When we entered the Seven’s 60th anniversary celebrations we knew we wanted it to be a milestone year. However, we didn’t realise it would be a record breaking year on so many different counts. Topping off the year, after such a strong sales performance, with a record from an Olympic icon is quite a way to round it all off.”
Avon Tyres’ Motorsport General Manager, Paul Coates, said: “We already knew that the ZZS and the Caterham Seven worked in perfect harmony, but this sounded like too much of a challenge for us to turn down. Thankfully, our faith in the ZZS product was justified – the tyre stood up well to what is an unusually harsh experience.”