St. Pete: Guy Smith race report

Yorkshire's Guy Smith bounced back to form in spectacular style by claiming second place in the American Le Mans Series LM P2 category in Florida on Saturday (4 Apr). Smith steered his Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda home to runner-up class honours --...

Yorkshire's Guy Smith bounced back to form in spectacular style by claiming second place in the American Le Mans Series LM P2 category in Florida on Saturday (4 Apr).

Smith steered his Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda home to runner-up class honours -- and a stunning third place overall -- in the 110-minute race staged on the temporary 1.8-mile, 16-corner waterfront street circuit in St Petersburg, Florida.

"I didn't expect to be challenging the proven Acura cars so early in the season considering the Lola-Mazda car is so new to me and the Dyson team but our qualifying and race pace showed we are quickly closing the gap," commented Guy who now lies second in the LM P2 championship standings.

"The race went very well for us and with both cars finishing, allowed the Dyson team to gather important data on the Lola-Mazda 'package' which will help us move forward in the coming races."

Guy's American co-driver Chris Dyson began the race from second place on the LM P2 grid courtesy of Smith's qualifying performance the previous day and handed over the Lola to the Briton placed third in LM P2 on the hour mark during the race's first and only full course caution.

The 34-year-old from Driffield inherited third place overall, second in class, when the "sister" BP sponsored Dyson Lola made an unscheduled pit-stop on 84mins while a series of personal fastest laps saw Smith in his British-built Lola Coupe B09/86 consolidate his position to the chequered flag.

Smith added: "It's nice to claim my first points of the year but I expect a very close battle with Acura throughout the season and of course with our 'sister' car. It will be difficult to overhaul Acura having not scored any points in the opening round at Sebring but we will focus on one race at a time and see where we end up.

"We're only operating at 80% of our full potential in my opinion so I am excited for the rest of the season."

The result earned the 2003 Le Mans 24 Hour race winner his best ALMS result since October 2007. Round three sees the series visit Long Beach near Los Angeles in California, another narrow, concrete wall lined temporary street circuit.

"Long Beach is a 'fun' venue and event although it has not been kind to me in the past in terms of results but after this result, also on a street track, we should be strong so I am hoping to score Mazda's first ALMS win."

-credit: gsPR

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Guy Smith , Chris Dyson
Teams Dyson Racing