Defending champion Guy Smith heads for the final round of the American Le Mans Series next month still in contention of retaining the “crown”.
Smith and American co-driver Chris Dyson will start the 10th and final round of the series nine-points behind series leaders Klaus Kraf and Lucas Luhr.
Smith and Dyson, joined by Johnny Mowlem, brought their Lola B12/60 Mazda Coupé home three laps behind winners Kraf/Luhr in a four-hour race at the Virginia International Raceway.
Smith commented: “Chris and I have an outside chance of retaining the championship so long as we finish ahead of Klaus and Lucas at Petit – we will push as hard as we can.
“Our car feels okay but it's just not as quick as the opposition – we just don’t have the outright pace. Our aim at Virginia was to finish and score points and our hope was that they [Graf/Luhr] encountered problems along the way but they didn't and had a faultless race. If they have problems at Petit we will be ready to pick up the pieces!”
The Smith/Dyson/Mowlem Lola lay second for 92 laps of the 135 lap Virginia race. Dyson, having started second after Guy had set the second fastest time in qualifying, began the race with Smith taking over from Mowlem, Smith then taking it to the chequered flag.
Their Lola B12/60 Mazda Coupé ran a newly-developed Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS). The system is based on a high-speed, lightweight flywheel that is incorporated into the car’s bell housing and stores braking energy for later use under acceleration and is the first of its kind to race outside of Europe.
The “Petit Le Mans” race is staged at Road Atlanta in Georgia.
Source: Guy Smith