Australian sporting icon Tim Cahill could consider a post-soccer career behind the wheel of a race car after displaying natural ability during his first hot laps at Mount Panorama.
Cahill has enjoyed his first trip to the 6.2km circuit by cutting some hot laps in a NISMO Nissan GT-R road car.
The 37-year-old, regarded as one of the Australia’s greatest ever players and most recognisable sporting faces, was ‘blown away’ by the experience which saw him behind the wheel of Nissan’s $300,000 supercar.
He then traded places with his instructor and former Supercar ace Alex Davison, who gave the Socceroo an extended taste of the GT-R’s capabilities.
Davison believes that Cahill has enough natural ability to seriously consider trying his hand at some competitive racing once his playing career is over.
“Like all athletes he was pretty good straight out of the box and really enjoyed the whole experience,” said Davison.
“It would not take him long to get the hang of things and be very competitive.
“He loved the car and the experience of being the driver and the passenger.”
The Australian international enjoyed a playing career in the English Premier League with Everton, Major League Soccer in the US with the New York Red Bulls and the Chinese Super League with Changhai Shenhua and Hangzhou Greentown.
When he was based in England Cahill’s contract restricted him from even doing road-car track days despite him owning several road-going supercars.
Nissan are sponsors of Cahill’s Melbourne City Football Club and used the track access for a valuable cross promotion.
“Nissan is not only a major part of Melbourne City FC, it’s one of the world’s great sporting car brands and to be a part of a competitive team that makes cars like the famous GT-R that competes here at Bathurst is like joining my home team,” said Cahill.
The Bathurst event also saw Nissan extending its relationship with the club to include marquee players for brand promotion.
Mount Panorama has been one of the busiest corporate activation centres in Australia this week following on from the weekend’s successful Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour event.
The 12 hour was a showcase for the majority of the manufacturers taking part in the event, with many of them hosting media and corporate guests from around the world.
Porsche Australia hosted a customer day on Monday headed by lead instructor and 1988 Bathurst 1000 winner Tomas Mezera.