Lime Rock Park
Smith Extends Championship Lead With First Outright Alms Win Of The Season
Guy Smith extended his lead in the American Le Mans Series when the Yorkshireman scored his first outright win of the season in the third round of the series at Lime Rock Park today (9 July).
Smith added to his sixth and second place finishes from the opening two rounds with his first victory since Mid Ohio last August.
American co-driver Chris Dyson started their #16 G-OIL/ModSpace/Construct Corps Lola Mazda Coupé from pole-position on the 31-car grid in the 165-minute race – the Dyson team’s base in nearby New York State.
Dyson staved off immense pressure from Lucas Luhr/Klaus Graf (Lola Aston Martin) before briefly relinquishing the lead but handed over the Lola to Smith back in the lead with just short of an hour on the clock during a full course caution.
Guy, who set the fastest lap of the race, led by 12secs before pitting for fuel and tyres with 52mins remaining but resumed still ahead of the Luhr/Graf Lola which pitted at the same time. A brief Safety Car period with 20mins to run cancelled out Smith’s 25secs lead but the Briton still took the chequered flag 19.969secs ahead, the Smith/Dyson Lola having led 165 of the 187-lap race.
“Chris had a great opening stint under extreme pressure so there is no better way to achieve our first outright win of the season especially as it’s on the team’s ‘home’ soil,” confirmed Smith.
“I’ve been away racing in Europe since the Long Beach race in April but this result shows just how hard everyone connected with the team has been working in recent weeks in making the Lola, Mazda and Dunlop ‘package’ into a winning combination.
The nine-round series had been in “hibernation” since mid-April to allow for teams and drivers to contest last month’s Le Mans 24 Hours and resumes later this month for the championship’s only visit to Canada and the historic Mosport track near Toronto on July 24. Smith and Dyson start the Canadian race with a 30-point series lead.
Guy added: “It’s fantastic coming back to the ALMS championship and turning in a result like this in which we claimed pole, fastest lap and the race win. Mosport cannot come around fast enough for us.”
By: guy smith PR