IRL: Guy Smith completes Indy 500 rookie test

Guy Smith, the first British driver to be entered for the famous Indy 500 race since Nigel Mansell competed in 1994, breezed through the mandatory test for first-time Indy 500 competitors, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) last week....

Guy Smith, the first British driver to be entered for the famous Indy 500 race since Nigel Mansell competed in 1994, breezed through the mandatory test for first-time Indy 500 competitors, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) last week. Smith, a resident of Hull in Yorkshire, England, has had plenty of oval track experience from his two year stint of the American Indy Light Series.

A 4-phase rookie orientation programme at the IMS is held on a number of days at the circuit in preparation for the race which will be held on May 28th this year. Smith will be driving the No. 44 March Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile with Firestone tyres in the big race, with practice starting May 13th and pole day (qualifying) on May 20th. Smith comments on his first drive at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, "It was awesome. There's such an aura about the track, it just has this amazing atmosphere - and that's without the 300,000 plus spectators. It's so big, so fast, you just can't compare it, it's like nothing else. " He adds, "I've always wanted to drive here, so it's been a very memorable day. We were lapping at over 200 mph, which was certainly the fastest I've ever been on an oval and I reckon there was at least another 15 (mph) in the car. But, we'll take it step by step. The car is solid and I could comfortably run flat all the way round. From here, we'll be working on getting the optimum set up for racing in May. I can't wait."

On winning, Smith says, "I think a driver named George Robson was the last Brit to win this race, and that was back in 1946. It would be fantastic to be the first racing driver to bring the honours to Britain in the 21st century. Of course, I've got to qualify first, but I'll be racing to win right from the start."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Guy Smith , Nigel Mansell