2003 Le Mans 24 Hour race winner Guy Smith heads for Le Mans to contest this year's twice-around-the-clock encounter next weekend (13-14 June) aiming for further glory.

Smith, from Driffield, drives for the Portuguese Quifel-ASM team for a second consecutive year at Le Mans but driving a brand new Ginetta-Zytek 09S sportscar in the LM P2 category.

The 34-year-old Yorkshireman teams-up with Olivier Pla (F) and Miguel Paes do Amaral (Por) as last year looking to celebrate in style the birth of his second daughter who was born today (3 June).

"I'm again racing in the LMP2 class which won't give me an opportunity for winning the race outright like I did with Bentley in 2003 but I will be pushing hard for a class victory and getting back to the top step of the podium and celebrate in style the birth of Priya," confirmed Guy.

"The Portuguese Quifel-ASM team are now running a brand new Ginetta-Zytek. In previous Le Mans Series races this season it's proven to be a very fast car and I was able to drive it in MONTH where I was fastest in the test

"Our aim is to replicate that form at Le Mans so that we're in a good position to beat the

class conquering Porsche RS Spyder that won the class in last year's race."

Official qualifying for positions on the 55-car grid is staged on Thursday (1900-2100 & 2200-0000) with the 77th running of the world famous race getting underway on Saturday at 3pm.

Guy added: "I'm looking forward to returning to Le Mans. It'll be my sixth visit to La Sarthe, and what is amazing about this race is that no matter how many times you go, it still gives you the same buzz, the same feeling of nerves and excitement.

"It grabs your attention like no other race and I guess that's why it is one of the greatest races in the world. You never know what the race will bring but you must be as best prepared as you can be and try and be ready for every eventuality.

"It is the ultimate racing challenge, a real test of speed and endurance and that's why we love racing there and some 70,000 Brits make the trip to France every year -- a race which attracted a record 265,000 spectators last year."

-credit: gs