Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Motorsport: East Yorkshire driving star Guy Smith’s Le Mans boost
10:12am Thursday 9th February 2012 in Motorsport
Former Le Mans 24 Hour race winner Guy Smith will contest this year’s event in June for the Dyson Racing team that swept the Yorkshireman to the American Le Mans Series title last year.
The 37-year-old from Welton drives a new British-built Lola B12/60 Coupé powered by an upgraded version of the same AER-built Mazda engine that powered Smith to seven top-two finishes in nine races last year.
“I’m really excited to be returning to Le Mans once again but even more so this year as it will be with the Dyson Racing team who I’ve raced full time for since 2006 and which culminated in last year’s ALMS title,” confirmed Smith.
Smith, who won the 2003 Le Mans race for Bentley, and his regular ALMS co-driver Chris Dyson are confirmed as drivers while the New York State-based team will be assisted in its first Le Mans foray by the Silverstone-based Status Grand Prix team.
The team received two “automatic” entries to the legendary Le Mans race for winning the 2011 ALMS Championship and the Green X Challenge, two of the five ALMS crowns the team won last year, including titles for Mazda and Dunlop tyres.
Said Smith: “While this is the team’s first trip to Le Mans, they have over 25 years of sportscar racing experience and are without doubt the top sportscar team in North America.
“Rob and Chris Dyson have both raced at Le Mans and each had a strong desire to take on the famous race with their own team. Having won the championship last year, a crack at Le Mans was next.”
Lola has taken another step forward this year with improved aerodynamics plus efficient packaging and advancements in suspension technology for the B12/60 Coupé.
‘It will be great representing Mazda at Le Mans, the scene of their famous victory in 1991,” said Smith.
“I’m looking forward to working with our technical partners Lola, AER, Dunlop and with the assistance of the Status GP team.”
Smith’s defence of his ALMS title begins at the Sebring 12 Hours on March 17. The 2012 ALMS championship consists of ten races and concludes in October.