SMITH ENDURES DISAPPOINTMENT IN ANNUAL LE MANS RACE
Former Le Mans winner Guy Smith suffered disappointment in this year's 24 Hour race staged this weekend (12-13 June).
The 35-year-old Yorkshireman retired from the 78th running of the Le Mans 24 Hour endurance sportscar race shortly after one-third distance when French co-driver Jean-Christophe Boullion crashed their Lola-Rebellion Coupe out of 11th place.
"I am very disappointed but we all make mistakes and I have huge respect for Jean-Christophe," reflected a crestfallen Smith.
"My stint earlier in the race had been very good despite only managing a handful of laps in practice. I was really happy with the balance of the car and was able to immediately settle into a good rhythm.
"I'd recorded our car's fastest lap and was looking forward to my second stint, readying myself for a near four-hour session behind the wheel when unfortunately Jean-Christophe lost control after reporting a problem with our car's headlights.
"He hit the guard rail hard damaging the car beyond repair. We'd been hovering just outside the top-10 and were looking good for a top-three amongst the petrol-engined cars."
The Rebellion sportscar of Smith/Boullion (France)/Andrea Belicchi (Italy) had started the annual race from 18th place on the 55-car grid. Smith, who won the race for Bentley in 2003 and then finished second the following year, was competing in the twice-around-the clock marathon for the seventh time in his career.
Guy now looks ahead to the fourth round of the American Le Mans Series in Salt Lake City on 11 July driving his Dyson Racing Mazda-engined Lola Coupe. Smith currently lies third overall in the championship standings.
-source: guy smith