Guy Smith 6th in competitive LM P2

 category of this year’s American Le Mans Series.

The 34-year-old from Beverley claimed fifth in class in the 11th and final round of the North American endurance sportscar championship at Laguna Seca on Saturday (18 Oct).

Smith, in his third consecutive season with the New York State-based Dyson Racing team, recorded eight top-six placings at the wheel of his Porsche Spyder along with American co-driver Chris Dyson – failing to score just once.

The Dyson team finished a very creditable third in the Team’s 2008 LM P2 standings. Porsche won both the Engine and Chassis Manufacturer championships, the latter by one point thanks to Dyson Racing’s contributions throughout the season.

Guy qualified their Porsche eighth in class (and overall) on the 34-car grid around the fast, sweeping 2.24-mile Californian track near the coast at Monterey for the four-hour event in which they finished fifth last year.

Co-driver Dyson started the race, the duo happy with their car and opting not to contest warm-up earlier in the day, with Chris lying fifth overall with 90mins on the clock despite contact with a backmarker whish caused slight damage to the nose section. 

Guy took over the Porsche shortly before mid-distance and took the chequered flag fifth in the LM P2 category, seventh overall, just 45secs behind the outright race winner in the 324-mile race that featured 12 full course caution periods after on-track incidents.

“Both Chris and I had a good race, pushed hard throughout, and achieved a reasonable result to be placed about where we’d expected to finish,” reflected Guy.

“Chris had a brush with a slower car early on and the damage caused a handling imbalance. All in all, an enjoyable race and I have to be pleased with sixth in the standings.

“The track is close to the coast and so it’s often breezy. The countryside is barren and a lot of dust gets blown onto the track so tyre grip is always a key. Additionally there is a drop off in temperature during the race, as we go from bright afternoon, warm sunshine to early evening near darkness which again has a dramatic effect on grip levels.”

Smith’s 2008 season began in March and has included over 30 separate flights, the majority Trans-Atlantic. Guy will spend the forthcoming weeks finalising his plans for next season with his intention to remain in the ALMS which begins next March.

Guy, who arrives home on Tuesday after attending the championship banquet on Sunday evening, added: “I love the ALMS, it’s an ultra-professional series and is very professionally run. I’d like to stay with the Dyson team for a fourth consecutive season but we’ll have to wait and see what happens.”   

Meanwhile Guy’s father, Peter, has won the C3 category in the 2008 MSA British Historic Rally Championship. After a break from rallying of 25 years, Peter resumed competition again this year driving a Ford Escort Mk1.

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