Road America: Guy Smith race report

Smith Narrowly Misses Out On Podium Place -- And Now Looks Ahead to Mosport Beverley's Guy Smith narrowly missed out on scoring a second consecutive podium finish in the latest round of the American Le Mans Series at Road America yesterday...

Smith Narrowly Misses Out On Podium Place -- And Now Looks Ahead to Mosport

Beverley's Guy Smith narrowly missed out on scoring a second consecutive podium finish in the latest round of the American Le Mans Series at Road America yesterday (August 22).

Smith, co-driven by American Chris Dyson, brought their Castrol Dyson Racing Lola Coupe Mazda home fourth -- a little over six seconds behind the race winner in the 165mins event.

Guy set the outright fastest time on Friday and then claimed a second consecutive ALMS front row start position, and took over from Dyson after 68mins placed second.

The Yorkshireman resumed the 165mins race around the 4.08-mile, 14-turn Road America circuit in Wisconsin, in third place with the race almost immediately going full course yellow -- the Briton moving in to the lead as the leaders made their own pit-stops for driver changes.

The race went in to another Safety Car phase moments later, leader Smith pitting for more fuel and resuming fourth with an hour to run. In the final minutes of the race. Guy, who remained fifth in the standings despite winning outright the previous ALMS race at Mid Ohio, slipped to fourth place but ultimately only missed out on another podium finish by 1.147secs.

"It was a great race with four different prototypes separated by just six seconds at the end of two hours and forty-five minutes of racing," reflected Smith. "In the end it turned into a 'fuel' race and conserving fuel. I had to run very lean and save fuel in the closing stages. Another lap of the race would have seen the Porsche and Acura cars, which finished just ahead of me, pitting for fuel -- I was good for two more laps."

Smith contests the Grand Prix of Mosport at Bowmanville in Ontario next Sunday (29 Aug) -- the only Canadian stop for the American Le Mans Series. Mosport is Canada's first permanent road-racing facility and has played host to the F1 World Championship, IndyCar, Can-Am and World Sports Car over the years, among others. It is traditionally the fastest track on the ALMS calendar.

The historic Canadian venue has been a happy hunting ground for Guy who recorded second place overall and the race's fastest lap in 2006 followed by seventh (fifth in class) and ninth (seventh) place finishes the following two years. Co-driver Dyson crashed out of the lead in last year's corresponding Mosport race.

Smith continued: "Mosport is a great circuit, one of the fastest and most exciting tracks that we race on all year. It really is an 'old school' type of circuit that is very challenging for both man and machine. Turns One and Two are virtually flat out in fifth gear and it really has you driving by the seat of your pants and the car really is on the very limit.

"Turn Eight, at the end of the back straight, is again incredibly fast as you approach it flat out in sixth gear -- all you do is have a slight dab on the brakes as you enter the corner and the entry speed is well over 140 mph.

"Mosport has been pretty good to us in the past and we proved last year that the Lola Mazda is well suited to the circuit. I expect it will be an exciting race between the other LMP cars and I look forward to the challenge.

"After two great races for us in Mid Ohio and now at Road Atlanta, I'm very much looking forward to Mosport which I think will be very good for our package."

-source: guy smith PR

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Guy Smith , Chris Dyson