► 19 donuts in 60 seconds
► Set by Sir Chris Hoy
► In a Caterham Seven 620R
How many donuts do you reckon you could get through in a minute? (Not the sugary dough rings, the smoky-tyre-car-pirouette ones?)
Caterham Cars decided to find out, setting what was supposed to be an unofficial record with none other than a knight of the realm behind the wheel.
Champion cyclist turned racing driver Sir Chris Hoy spun a Caterham Seven 620R 19 times in 60 seconds at Donington Park, to chime in with the Lotus/Caterham Seven’s 60th anniversary – 60 seconds for 60 years, geddit?
What record does the new number beat?
Well, that's where it gets tricky. As a benchmark, the most number of donuts ever in one go without a time limit was a dizzying 280, set in a Westfield Sport 1600 at Silverstone in 2011 by Jamie Morrow – clearly a man with a strong stomach.
‘Everyone knows I spend a lot of time in cars these days but I’ve never had much practice donuting,’ said Sir Chris. ‘But when someone tells me there’s a record up for grabs that certainly focuses my mind.
‘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.’
Unfortunately, since this story was published it came to light that Hoy's 'record' was in fact below the official Guinness World Record set in 2002 by journalist Alistair Weaver.
Chris Hoy: 'I just love driving'
We were at Donington to speak to Chris just after he’d completed his donut session. Following his cycling career he’s made an impressive switch to four wheels, racing with success in the Radical SR1 Cup, the British GT championship and at Le Mans. He’s now pretty well-versed in driving Sevens – having previously owned one as a road and trackday car, he’s been racing in the 2017 Caterham 310R championship and steps up to the 420R class – sequential gearbox, racing tyres and scarily close racing.
‘It’s like nothing I’ve ever raced before,’ he told CAR. ‘Slipstreaming is really important – with the car’s shape, you get a big tow [from following another car]. It’s almost like KERS, and as soon as you pull out of the slipstream and push your own car [against the air], it slows down dramatically.
‘In qualifying drivers often work together, trying to find other cars to tow. Unlike other forms of racing, you don’t actually want to be on your own in clear air.
‘In some ways it’s similar to cycling – it’s about thinking ahead and timing your passes. You don’t necessarily want to be leading at the start of a big straight on the last lap. You have to try and pass from group to group, not let big gaps open up, choose your battles and avoid losing time fighting too hard with other cars.’
As for further racing plans for the future, ‘I’d love to get back to Le Mans, that would be incredible. [Hoy raced at the endurance classic in the LMP2 prototype class in 2016]. I’m not tied to a manufacturer so I’m free to jump into different cars and different teams. I’ll race anything – sports cars, historics – I just love driving.’