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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hamilton to race Olympic champion Hoy at Wembley

Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton will race triple Olympic cycling gold medallist Chris Hoy around Wembley Stadium next month as a warmup for the Race of Champions event, organisers said on Tuesday.

However, 23-year-old Hamilton will be at the wheel of a Mercedes road car while Hoy will be pedalling a cycle on a parallel track constructed over the turf of the national soccer stadium.

Hamilton will also perform a demonstration run in his McLaren Formula One car before he and Hoy leave to take part in the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year awards ceremony in Liverpool.

"This is going to be something very special," said Hamilton, who will not be taking part in the main event against the likes of retired Formula One great Michael Schumacher and rally champion Sebastien Loeb.

"I've done F1 demonstration runs away from race tracks before, but Wembley Stadium's completely different, the atmosphere is going to be crazy. It's going to be a great way to end a fantastic year."

Hoy, who won golds in the sprint, keirin and team sprint at the Beijing Games, doubted he would be able to match Hamilton's Mercedes for acceleration but hoped the tight and twisty track would help him.

"I can kick out about 2-1/2 brake horsepower so that's not going to quite match his car but I think they'll make the race as close as possible and I'll be giving it absolutely everything. I'm really looking forward to it," he said.

The Dec. 14 Race of Champions pits competitors from various branches of motorsport against each other in a range of machinery over a parallel two lane track.

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