GUY SMITH: FLAT OUT IN FIFTH Racing on four wheels - Sebring, Paul Ricard, Long Beach - and on foot! Dyson Racing's Guy Smith brings us his first americanlemans.com blog today, and that's a fantastic feat in itself. The savvy, Le Mans-winning ...
GUY SMITH: FLAT OUT IN FIFTH
Racing on four wheels - Sebring, Paul Ricard, Long Beach - and on foot!
Dyson Racing's Guy Smith brings us his first americanlemans.com blog today, and that's a fantastic feat in itself. The savvy, Le Mans-winning British racer is one of the busiest sports car drivers in the world...keep reading to see what we mean!
Well 2010 has well and truly kicked in now and I can't believe I just drove in my third race of the season. As always in life, it tends to be all or nothing. Don't get me wrong: I love being busy - in fact I thrive on it and the last few weeks have been just that...Busy!
First of all we had the season-opening race at Sebring for the 12 Hours, arguably the toughest race on the calendar and it certainly went pretty well for my Mazda/BP team. Our aim was to come away from Sebring with some good points; with our third place finish in LMP2, we were able to achieve that which is vital for challenging for the championship at season's end.
There were a few unknowns going into the race as we are running a heavily revised Mazda powerplant, and due to time restraints we hadn't had much time to put many miles on it before the race. But I am pleased to say that its performance was faultless which underlined the amount of hard work that has gone into the engine over the winter by our engine development partner AER back in the UK. It gives us great confidence knowing we have a strong engine to power our very quick Lola chassis.
Another unknown for us at Sebring were the Dunlop tires as we had made the switch to Dunlop during the offseason. It was very much a learning weekend for us to find out the characteristics of the tire; much like the engine, they exceeded our expectations.
I will be driving for Rebellion Racing in this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans in one of its Lola-Rebellion P1 car and partner with Frenchman Jean- Christophe Boullion and Andrea Bellichi from Italy. I was asked to join them in the first round of the LMS at Paul Ricard which was an eight-hour race; it gave me a great opportunity before Le Mans to meet the team and my co-drivers and learn how each of us all work. I had a great weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. We were able to put in a strong performance and ended up in third place, my second podium in as many races. I am now really starting to look forward to Le Mans and I think our realistic aim is to be first of the petrol cars as I don't think we can challenge the diesel- powered cars - but be sure if one of them has a problem we will be ready to pounce.
I just finished round two of the American Le Mans Series championship at Long Beach where we had a strong fourth place finish, racking up more points toward the championship. I spent most of my stint battling with Klaus Graf in the CytoSport Porsche RS Spyder and the gap would open and close all race long depending on traffic. It didn't quite fall our way to allow me to get close enough to try and make a pass. Unfortunately Graf originally passed us during the pit stop due to another car blocking our pit spot and my co-driver Chris Dyson was unable to get in cleanly. By time we were able to get the car straightened up, we had lost 10 seconds allowing the CytoSport car to jump ahead of us on the road.
We now move on to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and I am really looking forward to that event - six hours! Being sponsored by Mazda, it's a race where we really want to do well. I can think of no better place to get our first win of 2010!
This weekend - to round out my two races in two weekends - I have perhaps the ultimate challenge of endurance: the Virgin London Marathon I am running as part of the BRDC Marathon Legends team. We are running to raise money for the CLIC Sargent Charity, which helps children with cancer and their families.
You can make a donation by clicking on the following link: www.justgiving.com/BRDC-marathin-legends
You can follow me on www.twitter.com/guysmith16 to keep up with my thoughts and ramblings during the season as well as here at here and at americanlemans.com.
The next round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is the American Le Mans Series Monterey presented by Patrón. The six-hour race is set for 2:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 22 from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. CBS Sports will broadcast the race from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 29. Live radio coverage will be available on American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche - a production of Radio Show Limited - as well as Sirius Channel 127 and XM Channel 242. Visit the Series' schedule page for ticket and accommodation information. Live Timing and Scoring, track schedule, entry list and much, much more will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com.