SMITH CLAIMS SECOND EVER SPORTSCAR RACE VICTORY WITH FIRST AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES WIN Beverley's Guy Smith scored only his second ever sportscar race victory when the experienced Yorkshireman won his first American Le Mans Series race at Mid...
SMITH CLAIMS SECOND EVER SPORTSCAR RACE VICTORY WITH FIRST AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES WIN
Beverley's Guy Smith scored only his second ever sportscar race victory when the experienced Yorkshireman won his first American Le Mans Series race at Mid Ohio on Saturday (August 7).
2003 Le Mans 24 Hour race winner Smith and American co-driver Chris Dyson swept their Castrol Dyson Racing Lola Coupe Mazda to a slender 0.506secs win in the 165-minute, 114-lap race.
Dyson had secured the team's second front row start of the season the previous day but it was Smith who started the race and spent the opening 48mins dicing for the lead until the race's first full course caution.
The leading cars pitted, Guy handing over to Dyson who was up to second place with 75mins gone and then in to the lead as the race re-started after a second full course caution period following the final pit-stops for the leading cars with 43mins to run.
Dyson came under intense pressure for the final 10mins after a third caution period but managed to hold on to score his and Smith's maiden overall ALMS race win and a first triumph for their Castrol-liveried, Mazda-powered Lola B09/86 coupe running on isobutanol fuel.
Smith reflected: "It was a great race but I could hardly watch the closing stages. The Mazda engine worked great and so did the Dunlop tyres. Chris drove a great race -- it's one of the best I've seen from him.
"The Lola has been exceptional for most of the year but we just suffered plain bad luck. We knew we were competitive and had a great package. Spirits were a little low [after a run of retirements] but we came here with a new attitude and showed the strength of this Dyson Racing team."
Smith, who is in to his fifth full ALMS season having previously recorded a personal best second place overall in 2006 and is a veteran of almost 80 endurance sportscar races, had started the Mid Ohio race placed fifth in the championship standings after three consecutive non-finishes.
The next ALMS race is staged at the 4.08-mile, 14-turn Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, on 22 August.
Guy concluded: "It's great to finally get the win for the Castrol-Mazda team and to score my first win with Dyson Racing. We could quite easily have scored three victories this year if we had a little more luck but we will take this momentum to Road America and I hope to end the season on a high. I would like to thank Dyson Racing, Mazda, Castrol, BP and Dunlop for all their help and support."
-source: guy smith PR