St. Pete: Guy Smith race report

Yorkshireman Guy Smith remains third in the American Le Mans Series after claiming fourth place in the LM P2 category in the latest race on Saturday evening (5 Apr). The 33-year-old from Driffield, partnered by co-driver Chris Dyson, finished...

Yorkshireman Guy Smith remains third in the American Le Mans Series after claiming fourth place in the LM P2 category in the latest race on Saturday evening (5 Apr).

The 33-year-old from Driffield, partnered by co-driver Chris Dyson, finished 23.142secs behind the overall race winner on the 1.8-mile temporary St Petersburg bay front "street" track in Florida.

Dyson started their Porsche Spyder RS from sixth place on the LM P2 grid and Anglo-American pairing were heading for a second place finish when a right rear puncture, late in the race, forced Smith to pit.

Smith, who had taken over from Dyson behind the wheel after 44mins, recovered to take fifth overall, fourth in class, at the chequered flag in the 1hr 55mins race.

"Our Porsche was very good throughout the race," confirmed Smith. "I was very happy with our pace.

"This time last year in our first season with the Spyder, we'd had rough races in Sebring and St. Pete's. This year we're running for the championship and all of these points add up.

"With less than 30mins remaining I was 2.5secs behind the class leader in second place but just as the race re-started following a full course caution after an accident, I picked up a puncture which meant I had to pit.

"I was able to rejoin the race on the lead lap and was catching the leaders at the chequered flag. I'm sure I'd have finished second but for the puncture.

"It's nice to prove that our Sebring performance, when we finished third in class, was not a one off and setting the race's third fastest lap underlines that. We are in contention for honours in every race."

Smith dedicated his latest success to Richard Lloyd who died in the recent Kent plane crash. Smith was one of the drivers that won the Le Mans 24 Hours with Lloyd and Bentley in 2003.

"Richard was a great friend and was massively influential on my career," explained Guy. "Richard believed in me and was a big supporter.

"He was instrumental in pushing my name forward to Bentley, and he was a huge part of that programme. Without his support and encouragement it would never have happened and I owe a debt to his support."

The third round of the ALMS is staged at Long Beach in the suburbs of Los Angeles, on 19 April.

-credit: alms

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Series ALMS
Drivers Guy Smith , Richard Lloyd , Chris Dyson