British race driver, Guy Smith, was given his first taste of the famed Le Mans circuit this weekend at the official test day for the forthcoming Le Mans 24 Hours race in the Johansson Matthews Racing Reynard 2KQ-LM, and was totally exhilarated by...
British race driver, Guy Smith, was given his first taste of the famed Le Mans circuit this weekend at the official test day for the forthcoming Le Mans 24 Hours race in the Johansson Matthews Racing Reynard 2KQ-LM, and was totally exhilarated by the experience.
"It's awesome," enthused Smith, "I've read about it, seen it on television and driven the track on the PlayStation and now I've experienced it in reality. It's difficult to explain how it feels, but when I drove down the Mulsanne straight for the first time at over 200 miles an hour, there was a big grin on my face."
"I've never driven a circuit with such a long lap - over 8 miles - and it takes some learning. I only had a chance to do 6 or 7 laps this weekend, so I'm still at an early stage in my Le Mans education, but it shouldn't take me long to get up to speed when we get to the race. The Porsche curves section is probably the trickiest section to learn, so in the absence of any more test opportunities before official race practice in race week, I'll be back on the PlayStation Le Mans 24 Hour game."
Smith is one of three drivers piloting the Reynard 2KQ-LM of Johannson Matthews Racing, alongside ex-Formula 1 and Le Mans winner, Stefan Johannson and team co-owner, Jim Matthews. The team is competing in the American Le Mans Series this year, in addition to the Le Mans 24 Hours race. The Reynard 2KQ-LM is a new prototype sports racing car and will appear at Le Mans for the first time. Smith comments on the car, "From the first lap out, the car was competitive and one of the quickest out on track. We're all pleased with the changes that Reynard has made to the car. I hear there are even more improvements to come, so I hope that'll we'll be able to close the gap on the Audis and be in with a good chance of success."
As a young British driver, Smith, 25, has enjoyed success in various categories of racing. He started his career in Formula Ford at 1, following 5 years of karting experience. He moved on to Formula Renault Sport and progressed to Formula 3 and then to the American Indy Lights Championship. In his first season, he was 3rd in the Championship and won the Rookie of the Year title. This year Smith is driving the Reynard 2KQ Sportscar with Johannson Matthews Racing and contesting the Indy 500 race with March racing.
Smith returns to the track on Wednesday at another famous race venue - Indianapolis Speedway. He will be taking part in Indy Racing League testing in the build up to competing in the blue ribbon event of American Auto Racing - the Indy 500.