Paul Ricard: Guy Smith race report

SMITH NETS FABULOUS THIRD PLACE ON REBELLION DEBUT Yorkshireman nets rostrum place in Le Mans Series "opener" at Paul Ricard Guy Smith finished a stunning third on his race debut for the Rebellion Racing team in the opening round of the Le...

SMITH NETS FABULOUS THIRD PLACE ON REBELLION DEBUT

Yorkshireman nets rostrum place in Le Mans Series "opener" at Paul Ricard

Guy Smith finished a stunning third on his race debut for the Rebellion Racing team in the opening round of the Le Mans Series at Paul Ricard in France on Sunday (11 Apr).

The 35-year-old from Beverley co-drove the Anglo-Swiss team's Lola Coupe with Andrea Belicchi (Italy) and Jean-Christophe Boullion (France) in the eight hour endurance sportscar race.

"I'm absolutely elated with third place overall and effectively second position in the unofficial 'petrol division' -- it's a stunning result and bodes well for the Le Mans 24 Hours," commented Guy who's only other scheduled race for Rebellion is the Le Mans race (12-13 Jun).

Boullion set the fifth quickest time in qualifying, the third fastest time achieved by a petrol engined sportscar but the Frenchman, and then Smith, placed the Lola a solid third by mid-distance and remained there in the 950 mile-race at the ultra-fast 3.6-mile venue.

Indeed Smith finished just 67-secs behind the second-placed Aston Martin after a determined final "stint" by Britain's 2003 Le Mans 24 Hour race winner.

Guy continued: "This was my first race for the Rebellion team who were debuting its own V10 engine and I've enjoyed working with the team. It's a great start and perfect preparation for Le Mans -- I'm very excited for the race in June. We'll be battling for honours for cars powered by petrol engines as opposed to the faster, more economical diesel powered cars of the 'factory' Peugeot and Audi teams.

"Our battle will be, like here, between Aston Martin and a few others. It's going to be close and tight but it should be fantastic racing. But essentially it was great to be back in a LMP1 sports-prototype. I had a one-off race in one last year but apart from that, the previous occasion I drove one in Europe was 2004 with Audi UK."

Smith flies to California tomorrow (12 Apr) in readiness for the second round of the American Le Mans Series staged on the streets of Long Beach, Los Angeles on Saturday (17 Apr). The Dyson Racing Mazda Lola Coupe of Smith and co-driver Chris Dyson changes colour for the next two ALMS races, the familiar BP green and white of Castrol being replaced by the blue and white of BP's ARCO brand name.

-source: guy smith

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Guy Smith , Jean-Christophe Boullion , Chris Dyson , Andrea Belicchi
Teams Dyson Racing