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Five times Le Mans Winner supporting Guy Smith's bid for victory. Five-time Le Mans 24 hour race winner Derek Bell is supporting Yorkshireman Guy Smith and Bentley's bid for success in this year's race. Smith, 28, from Beverley, East ...

Five times Le Mans Winner supporting Guy Smith's bid for victory.

Five-time Le Mans 24 hour race winner Derek Bell is supporting Yorkshireman Guy Smith and Bentley's bid for success in this year's race.

Smith, 28, from Beverley, East Yorkshire recently completed Bentley's final endurance tests in preparation for next weekend's (14-15 June) gruelling round-the-clock marathon and Bell, Britain's most successful driver in the annual race, believes Guy and Bentley has what it takes to succeed.

After an admirable performance which earned Smith "Rookie of the Year" at Le Mans in 2000 and a vigorous test programme with Bentley last season, Bell commented,

"Guy seems very much at home in sportscars and is totally focused on delivering his best performance for Bentley at Le Mans".

Guy's first experience of driving the new 2003 Bentley Speed 8 he will share with four-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen (Denmark) and Rinaldo Capello (Italy) was at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk last week. (Their car carries race No 7).

"The whole team is confident after recent tests at Snetterton and Paul Ricard (France) combined with our performance in the "Preliminary Practice" at Le Mans in May, when we were quickest" said Guy

This year's race around the 13.65 Km (8.45 mile) circuit is the culmination of a three-year programme by Bentley to win Le Mans, which they first won -- with Car No 8 - in 1924. (Four consecutive victories followed, from 1927 to 1930.)

A second Bentley Speed 8 (Race No 8) driven by Johnny Herbert, David Brabham and Mark Blundell is amongst the 50 cars starting at 1500hrs (BST) on Saturday 14th June.

"Bentley has established a very "British Backbone" and Guy has been very much a part of this for the past three years", added Bell.

Le Mans qualifying is on Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th June. This year the race celebrates its 80th anniversary. The "24 Heures Du Mans" has been run 70 times since 1923.

-www.guysmith.com

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Series Le Mans
Drivers Johnny Herbert , Tom Kristensen , Guy Smith , Mark Blundell , Derek Bell