Guy Smith press release
Smith Nets Runner-Up Place In Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix Sportscar Race
· Yorkshireman increases American Le Mans Series Points Lead
Guy Smith added more valuable points in his quest for his first American Le Mans Series title by placing second in the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix sportscar endurance on Saturday (3 Sep).
The Yorkshireman and co-driver Chris Dyson finished 6.961secs behind their Dyson Racing team-mates in the G-OIL/ModSpace/Construct Corps Lola-Coupe.
The Briton’s result in the two-hour race staged on a 2.1-mile, 12-corner “street” track in downtown Baltimore means Smith and Dyson now lead the series by 24-points with just two races remaining.
Smith, who had topped the time sheets in practice, captured pole-position – his third of the season – with co-driver Dyson taking the start of the 120-minute race.
The American led until handing over to Smith on 58mins during a full course caution period to repair a raised manhole cover.
Smith was placed only ninth when the race re-started after the 21mins caution period when Guy’s Lola-Mazda had difficulty firing up after its pit-stop losing almost 30secs.
But Guy sliced his way in to second place with 20mins remaining, 15secs behind the “sister” Dyson Lola-Mazda of Steve Kane/Humaid Al Masaood reducing the gap to under seven seconds at the chequered flag.
“The plan was to get out in front and push as hard as possible,” reflected Smith. “Chris achieved that in his opening stint but unfortunately the Lola wouldn’t immediately fire-up at our pit-stop which lost me valuable time and ultimately cost our car achieving a second win of the season.
“Chris and I nevertheless picked up valuable points for our lead and Mazda’s lead in the championships.
“The Baltimore organisers did a great job with the circuit. With a new track, there are always teething problems – it was bumpy and demanding on car and driver but that’s what street courses are all about.
“Getting through the slower ‘traffic’ was painful at times but the multi-class racing is what the championship is all about.
“Today’s result adds momentum going into the last two races of the season. Both are among the toughest of the year.”