Yorkshireman Guy Smith recorded third place in the LM P2 class -- fourth overall -- in the gruelling Sebring 12 Hours in Florida today (SAT) -- the opening round of this year's 11-race American Le Mans Series. Smith, 33, from Driffield, and ...
Yorkshireman Guy Smith recorded third place in the LM P2 class -- fourth overall -- in the gruelling Sebring 12 Hours in Florida today (SAT) -- the opening round of this year's 11-race American Le Mans Series.
Smith, 33, from Driffield, and American co-driver Chris Dyson, steered their Porsche Spyder RS home to finish just one lap behind the overall race and class winning Porsche of Romain Dumas/Timo Bernhard/Emmanuel Collard having been in contention for race honours themselves for almost the entire race.
"That's exactly the performance that we wanted to start the season off with and because of our competitiveness for around 10 of the 12 hours," reflected Smith.
"We led the race and ran up front for most of it so it's a very, very encouraging solid start for the season. It proves the work we've done over the winter has paid off."
Guy, the best-placed English driver, took over from Dyson 1.5hrs into the race placed sixth overall and embarked on an energy-sapping driving stint of almost 3hours in the hot and humid Florida weather, moving their Porsche up to fourth overall and second in class with one-third of the race run.
"The pace of the race was very fast and the Peugeot and Audis initially set that before they encountered problems. It was an exciting race from start to finish," added Guy.
Their Dyson Porsche Spyder led the race outright for 23 glorious laps -- Smith setting a searing pace during his second stint lasting two hours. The Beverley-born 2003 Le Mans 24 Hour race winner returned to the race for the final two hours placed fourth overall, fourth in class, but his Porsche's pace restricted in the darkness for an unknown reason.
Smith continued: "I was behind the wheel of the car for a long time today and despite not feeling 100%, I picked up German 'flu off some of the team members, I'm please the way I coped with everything especially after this bug sapped my energy."
Smith actually set the fastest class time in qualifying before it was aborted then abandoned. Guy's next race is at St Petersburg in Florida on 5 April.
"I like the St Pete's track and we should be in better shape than 12 months ago when the Spyder was so new to us," concluded Guy.