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Racing driver Guy Smith out-paced by title rivals in California
9:32am Wednesday 16th May 2012 in Sport
EAST Yorkshire racing driver Guy Smith has slipped to second in the American Le Mans Series after finishing second in class in the latest race in California.
Defending champion Smith finished eighth, and second in class, in the six-hour race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca after losing valuable time in the closing stages.
“We lost time with an hour to run with repairs after debris damaged the front diffuser, which in turn restricted air to the radiator,” said Smith, of Beverley, who had qualified second fastest overall. “These delays put us way behind so we then used the remainder of the race to test tyre combinations to give us valuable data for the rest of the season.”
Smith, who shared the new Racing Lola B12/60 Mazda Coupé with American co-driver Chris Dyson plus Briton Johnny Mowlem, joined the race for the first time with two hours left and endured two long pit-stops to cure the overheating issue.
“We were out of sorts with the car and struggled for pace,” reflected Smith. “Our title rivals drove a flawless race to take the honours and we slip four points behind in the championship standings.”
The series now has a near two-month break before the Northeast Grand Prix is staged at Lime Rock Park on July 7.
“We will use the coming weeks to extensively test our new Lola,” confirmed Smith.
“This was only its third race having taken delivery of the car from Britain just before the opening Sebring race two months ago.
“But the important element is that we’re learning about the car from every race and hopefully the upcoming tests will improve our performance as we need to find more speed.”