Daytona 24: Guy Smith race notes

Guy Smith became the leading British sportscar driver with a superb second place overall in the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway this weekend. The 27 year-old, partnered in the Jim Matthews Racing Riley & Scott MkIII C, by Scott Sharp,...

Guy Smith became the leading British sportscar driver with a superb second place overall in the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway this weekend. The 27 year-old, partnered in the Jim Matthews Racing Riley & Scott MkIII C, by Scott Sharp, Robby Gordon and team owner Jim Matthews, overcame a variety of problems throughout the event, including a broken alternator, cracked exhaust and numerous headlight failures to claw back a 20 lap disadvantage at the half-way point, to just six laps at the flag.

After qualifying in fourth place, Guy quickly moved into second place during the early part of the race and then took the lead during the darkness hours before the alternator problem dropped them way down the order. The on-going headlamp failure meant many stops to replace both lamps and lamp switches during the night before they were able to push on to claim the runner-up spot.

"It's a good result, but the win could have been ours," said Guy. "We all drove our best and the team did a great job but during any 24 hour race, there's always the chance of niggling problems, such as we had, that can cost you victory. I'm really pleased to have finished the race, as it's such a great experience to drive in all the different conditions. During the night itself and then to watch the sun come up was fantastic."

"The problems we had were all small ones, but when you put them all together it can cost a lot of time. We thought we might win it when the lead car developed a small engine fire late on in the race, but they managed to keep it going. The Riley & Scott was loads of fun to drive, I really enjoyed it and we all drove very hard, right to the end."

"When you look at how many of the lead cars fell out early on it's great to actually get to the end of a 24 hour event and I'm absolutely delighted to be the top British driver home."

-gs/mpr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Guy Smith , Robby Gordon , Scott Sharp , Jim Matthews