CHAMPCAR/CART: Road America: RSR, Guy Smith race report

Impressive To-Ten Finish for Guy Smith in Debut Champ Car Race ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (August 8, 2004) -- Sportscar champion Guy Smith made an impressive debut in the Champ Car World Series with a top-ten finish at the Grand Prix of Road America ...

Impressive To-Ten Finish for Guy Smith in Debut Champ Car Race

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (August 8, 2004) -- Sportscar champion Guy Smith made an impressive debut in the Champ Car World Series with a top-ten finish at the Grand Prix of Road America Presented by the Chicago Tribune. The young Englishman worked his way up from 16th position on the starting grid to finish tenth in his first-ever Champ Car race.

A true racer, Smith confidently jumped into the Champ Car with relatively little exposure to the 750hp Ford Cosworth Lola with Bridgetone Potenza tires. Smith has an extensive and successful history in sportscars, highlighted by his famous victory for Bentley in the 2003 Le Mans 24 Hours. While he had two seasons experience in the Indy Lights series and some Champ Car testing, it was Smith's first competitive outing in a Champ Car. He found the power and physical demands of the open-wheel machines significantly different from sportscars but rose successfully to the challenge with a competitive effort yielding a solid finish.

Smith entered the Champ Car fray mid-season with Rocketsports and joined the crew in Lansing, Michigan last week to fit the seat of the No.17 Lola. On Wednesday prior to the race race, Smith saw the demanding, four-mile Road America course for the first time. The team tested for hours, acclimating Smith to the set up and handling of the Champ Car. He made consistent progress through the weekend, bettering his lap times with each session. Smith drove an incident-free race and steadily climbed into the top-ten - an indication of his potential and direction for the remainder of the 2004 Champ Car World Series season.

"My first Champ Car race was all and more than I expected. It was a tremendous challenge and I'm pleased to have finished, but a little disappointed too. I wanted a better finish, but as it was really only our first weekend working together and as a team, we did reasonably well. My goal was to finish the race and take advantage of the yellows late in the race especially because the car got better as the race progressed. The No.17 Rocketsports crew gave me a great car that performed well. I'm looking forward to Denver and building on what I've learned today here at Elkhart."

Hoping to build on the success of his first Champ Car race, Smith looks forward to Round Nine of the Champ Car World Series, the Grand Prix of Denver August 15, 2004.

-rsr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Guy Smith
Teams HART