Sebring: Guy Smith preview

Guy Smith Heads To Sebring Ready For A Fight! Briton Guy Smith heads to America on Monday to begin testing for the Sebring 12 Hours, knowing he has a struggle on his hands to repeat the runner-up spot he achieved at Daytona last month. The 27 ...

Guy Smith Heads To Sebring Ready For A Fight!

Briton Guy Smith heads to America on Monday to begin testing for the Sebring 12 Hours, knowing he has a struggle on his hands to repeat the runner-up spot he achieved at Daytona last month. The 27 year-old from Hull will again partner team owner Jim Matthews in the Riley & Scott MkIII C but will face tough opposition from the factory Audis, Panoz and Cadillacs as well as the Dallara of Daytona winner Max Papis.

“ We had a great run at Daytona and second place was a fantastic result,” said Guy. “ But at Sebring we’re up against all the top teams whose cars are all very much quicker than us. Engine-wise we’ve got the pace to match them, but as with every championship, the factory-run cars with far more budget enables much more development to take place so we know we’ve got a real fight on our hands.”

“ One thing I’ve learned from sportscar racing though is that although outright speed is undoubtedly a major factor, strength and durability is equally important and that’s an area that the Riley & Scott excels in. We also run Goodyear tyres, and the three main teams all run Michelins, which are worth about a second a lap over the Goodyears.”

“ Our car is very strong, the others may be quicker, but some of them remain relatively fragile in comparison. It’s going to be a very tough week in the build up to the race. We head out to Putnam Park, Indianapolis for two days shakedown next week, prior to the official testing at Sebring on the 11th. The Sebring circuit itself is very demanding to drive and with the level of competition being so high, the whole week will be a hard test. If we can qualify in the top ten I think we’ll be reasonably happy and realistically a top five position in the race would be a very good result.”

The 50th annual 12 Hours of Sebring, America’s oldest sports car endurance race, takes place at Sebring International Raceway on March 13-16 and has attracted the world’s leading sportscar teams plus many of the famous cars and drivers which has helped make Sebring a legendary name in motorsport.

The race will kick off the 2002 ALMS series with official practice for all classes starting on Wednesday March 13th and the 12-hour race will start at 10.30am local time on Saturday March 16th.

- www.guysmith.com.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Guy Smith , Max Papis , Jim Matthews