Sebring: Guy Smith qualifying report

Guy Smith Starts 9th at Sebring Briton Guy Smith will start the 12 Hours of Sebring on Saturday (March 16th) from 9th place on the grid but remains confident of a strong finish in the race. The 27 year-old from Hull, partnered in this event by...

Guy Smith Starts 9th at Sebring

Briton Guy Smith will start the 12 Hours of Sebring on Saturday (March 16th) from 9th place on the grid but remains confident of a strong finish in the race. The 27 year-old from Hull, partnered in this event by team owner Jim Matthews and Belgian Marc Goossens, was delighted with the progress made since pre-season testing and is looking forward to a good race in this weekend’s event.

“ Of course I’m disappointed not to have been higher up the grid after setting fourth and sixth quickest times in testing but the car is running well now and all that matters is getting a good finish in the race,” said Guy.“ We had no problems whatsoever in the shakedown last week and the paddleshift and power steering systems are working well so I feel quite confident of having a good finish in the race. I really felt we could have been higher up the grid but Marc (Goossens) had problems with traffic during his qualifying stint and the Michelin tyres seem to be working a lot better for the other teams than our Goodyears are.”

“ But to be honest the grid position in an endurance race is not so important, it’s all down to reliability and that’s an area in which the Riley & Scott excels. The Jim Matthews team and Riley & Scott have done a lot of work on the car since Daytona and it really is great to drive. It’s going to be hard work still to beat the works teams but the mood is much more optimistic now.”

The team know they will face tough opposition from the factory Audis, Panoz and Cadillacs as well as the Dallara of Daytona winner Max Papis.

The 50th annual 12 Hours of Sebring, America’s oldest sports car endurance race, takes place at Sebring International Raceway on March 16th 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 the 12-hour race starting at 10.30am local time (3.30pm UK time) on Saturday March 16th.

- www.guysmith.com

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Series ALMS
Drivers Guy Smith , Max Papis , Marc Goossens , Jim Matthews