GUY SMITH, East Yorkshire’s 2003 Le Mans 24 Hour race winner, endured disappointment in this year’s race.

The 36-year-old Beverley-born driver retired from the 79th running of the French motorsport marathon when his Lola-Toyota Coupé retired from fifth place – the best-placed petrol driven car – with nine hours remaining.

Smith, sharing the Swiss Rebellion team’s Lola with Jean-Christophe Boullion, of France, and Andrea Belicchi, of Italy, had started the annual race from tenth place on the 56-car grid.

Smith, who also finished second at Le Mans in 2004, was competing in the twice around the clock marathon for the eighth time.

“Unfortunately, Jean-Christophe crashed out of the race,” said Smith.

“We’d been inside the top ten overall from the start and were looking good in terms of posting at least a top-three result in the unofficial ‘petrol division’ and were actually leading the petrol runners when the accident occurred.

“It wasn’t to be which is very disappointing.”

Smith now focuses on another 24 Hour race before resuming his American Le Mans Series campaign at Lime Rock Park on July 9.

Smith drives for the first time in the Nürburgring 24 Hours staged on the infamous Nordschleife track over June 25 and 26.