Welton racer reduces point gap to just nine points in championship title race
Guy Smith claimed a class second position in the eighth round of the American Le Mans Series staged on a temporary street circuit in Baltimore, Maryland, on Saturday (1 Sep) to strengthen the Yorkshireman’s hopes of retaining the championship “crown”.
The Welton race ace and American co-driver Chris Dyson finished two-laps behind their Dyson Racing team-mates Michael Marsal/Eric Lux but importantly three-laps ahead of title rivals Lucas Luhr/Klaus Graf (HPD) in an incident packed Grand Prix of Baltimore.
The result means that reigning champions Smith and Dyson now trail Luhr/Graf by just nine-points with two races remaining.
Guy confirmed: “The good thing about the weekend was that the Luhr/Graf car had issues like us and importantly we actually gained three points on them in the championship.”
Smith had exchanged fastest laps with Luhr four times in qualifying the previous day before having to settle for the second fastest time around the bumpy and narrow two-mile course.
Dyson lay second early on in the race staged in hot and humid conditions and inherited the class lead after 45mins when Lucas Luhr/Klaus Graf encountered gearbox problems.
Smith took over from Dyson with 62mins gone, moments after their Lola B12/60 Mazda Coupé had been demoted to second in class by the “sister” Dyson Racing Lola with Chris Dyson losing additional time with a spin.
Guy resumed placed 17th but eight minutes later made an unscheduled pit-stop to repair the front bodywork on the Lola B12/60 Mazda Coupé that had been damaged earlier in the race.
With 26mins remaining, Smith lay two laps behind the other Dyson Lola but vitally three laps ahead of the Luhr/Graf HPD which clipped the concrete retaining wall on the final lap in the two-hour race.
Smith continued: “We had suffered front nose damage in qualifying and while it had been repaired, it unfortunately broke in the race losing us downforce which handicapped us quite badly.
“But our title rivals had their own problems. We tried to focus on making it to the end without incident despite an ill handling car.”
Source: Guy Smith media