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Racing driver Guy Smith finishes second in Baltimore ‘crazy race’
11:07am Thursday 5th September 2013 in Sport
EAST Yorkshire’s Guy Smith was placed second in the Grand Prix of Baltimore – a bizarre race from start to finish that was frequently interrupted by accidents and caution periods.
Welton-based Smith and American co-driver Chris Dyson, in their regular Thetford/RACER Mazda Lola, finished just 3.867 seconds behind the winning HPD of Lucas Luhr/Klaus Graf in the time-shortened race.
Having qualified on the front row of the grid – the fourth time from five ALMS race starts – on the narrow two-mile “street” circuit, Dyson was adjudged by race officials to have jumped the second re-start, the race having been stopped for over an hour after a multi-car start line accident.
But with 15 minutes remaining in the race that was shortened by 47 minutes due to the numerous incidents making it the shortest in ALMS history, Smith snatched the lead after a storming late charge.
“I took over from Chris (Dyson) and ran second behind Lucas Luhr but was given a ‘stop and go’ penalty for Chris apparently ‘jumping’ the start,” said Smith.
“That dropped me 40 seconds back but then a full course yellow for an on-track incident brought the field together.
“I managed to slip ahead in the closing stages for a couple of laps but Lucas had better traction out of turn one and got a run on me into the hairpin.
“I was striving to keep close to him in an attempt to snatch the win right at the death but the combination of some slower GT traffic delaying me and my rear tyres losing grip prevented me from making a final push at the end.”
Added Smith: “It was a crazy race, from start to finish. It was frustrating just to miss out on the win but it was nice to be racing again.”
Beverley-born Smith was competing for the first time since posting second place in the Northeast Grand Prix almost two months ago.
The 2003 Le Mans 24 Hour race winner and team principal Dyson decided to “stand down” for most of the remaining 2013 rounds with an eye toward 2014 and beyond.
It is likely that Smith, who is kept busy in his role as an ambassador for Bentley, will only contest one more American Le Mans Series race this year – the Virginia International Raceway on October 5.
“It was really nice to be back racing the Dyson again at Baltimore while the Virginia race marks the final race for an LMP1 class sports-prototype, so it’ll be a little sad bringing this era of sportscar racing in the US to an end.”
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