Guy Smith enjoyed the most prestigious victory of his career in 2003, taking the chequered flag of the Le Mans 24 Hour race in car No.7, the Bentley Speed 8 of Team Bentley. Guy had been a central figure for Team Bentley's attack on both the Sebring 12hrs and the Le Mans 24hrs, partnered with then six-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen and 'Dindo' Capello. After finishing 4th at Sebring in the 12hrs, the trio swept all before them at Le Mans that June, capturing pole-position and 1st place in the world-famous 24 Hour race. Guy was selected to pilot the car across the finish line at the end of the historic 71st running of the event to mark an emotional sixth win for Bentley. Guy began his career in karts at age 12, earning four championships and four runner-up titles before progressing to Formula Ford competition in 1991 at the age of 17. After four successful years of Formula Ford and Formula Vauxhall, the former Autosport Young Kartist and Young Driver of the Year finalist graduated to the Formula Renault Sport Championship with nine race wins and 11 pole positions. He won his debut race in British Formula 3 competition with a flag-to-flag victory in 1996, and finished sixth in the championship. After a partial season of Formula 3 competition the following year, Smith joined Johansson Motorsports to contest the Indy Lights series in 1998. He made an impressive debut, finishing third in the PPG Dayton Indy Lights Championship and garnering Rookie of the Year honours. In 1999, Guy joined Forsythe Championship Racing (formerly Tasman Motorsports Group) to team with Brazilian Airton Dare. Guy's other Forsythe team-mates have included Champ Car and Indy Racing League drivers Tony Kanaan, Greg Moore and Patrick Carpentier. In 2000, Guy drove in the American Le Mans Series and a number of other sportscar races with Johansson Matthews Racing. The highlights of the year were the Daytona 24 Hour and Sebring 12 Hour races, plus the Le Mans 24 Hour race in which Guy claimed another "Rookie of the Year" award. Team Bentley recognised Guy Smith’s talent and speed, offering him a race seat for 2001 alongside team-mates Martin Brundle and Stephane Ortelli, as the British luxury car manufacturer embarked on a three-year programme to win at Le Mans again. In the year of Bentley’s return to Le Mans, the car performed well and ran 3rd before a technical issue brought its race to an end. Alongside this programme, Guy contested the 2001 European Le Mans Series with Stefan Johansson in a Gulf-sponsored Audi R8, notching up three top-four finishes. Bentley decided to reduce their racing programme to one car for 2002 and Guy was retained as the full-time test driver for the programme, becoming the prime development driver for the famous British marque. Bentley agreed to release him for limited other races and he gained podium positions at the 2002 Daytona 24Hrs (2nd) and Sebring 12Hrs (3rd) driving the “works” Riley & Scott Mk.111. Success eluded Bentley in 2002, but the “Bentley Boys” returned in a two car attack in 2003, when they achieved their goal of victory in this historic, blue riband motor race. Guy then joined the Audi UK Team Veloqx in 2004 racing in both the Sebring 12hrs and the Le Mans 24hrs. Guy was partnered by fellow British racers Johnny Herbert and Jamie Davies and they finished a strong 3rd at Sebring before Guy came close to scoring a second straight Le Mans victory. The Yorkshireman encountered a mechanical issue early on the Sunday morning while leading, ultimately missing out on victory by a mere 40 seconds! Guy has been racing for the Dyson Racing team since 2005 partnering American Chris Dyson. That year, the duo finished 4th in the 2005 Sebring 12hrs and 2nd overall in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta. Guy scored 10 top-five finishes in the 2006 season and recorded two lap records at Motorsport and Road America to end the season in 4th place in the LMP1 Championship. In 2007 & ’08, Dyson Racing ran Porsche RS Spyders which saw Chris and Guy finish 4th in the Championship both seasons, Smith also netting 4th in the LMP2 class at Le Mans for the ASM team in a Lola- AER. 2009 saw Guy continue with the New York State-based Dyson team who ran the “works” BP Mazda in the ALMS LMP 2 class, Chris and Guy finishing the season in 3rd place. Guy completed his fifth full season with the Dyson team the following year, scoring pole-positions at Laguna Seca and Road Atlanta in the Mazda and recording his maiden ALMS win at Mid Ohio. The 2011 season saw Guy score his first sportscar championship title, winning the American Le Mans Series LMP1 class championship. The magnificent season included outright victory at Dyson Racing’s “home” Lime Rock Park track, maximum ALMS points in the season-opening Sebring 12hrs plus pole-positions at Long Beach, Mid Ohio, Baltimore and Laguna Seca. Guy scored pole-position at Lime Rock while Chis and Smith won at Road America in their Lola-Mazda but their quest to successfully defend their ALMS title in 2012 but came up short by just nine points. Smith remained at Dyson Racing in 2013 making his 9th season with the American team. Guy also became a brand ambassador for Bentley Motors, and carried outall the test and development work on Bentley’s new Continental GT3 race car before racing it to 4th place in the Abu Dhabi 12hrs in December. 2014 saw the start of an exciting new era with Bentley returning to the race tracks,competing in the Blancpain Endurance Series ,which includes the famous Spa 24hrs. Guy and his Bentley Boy co-drivers Steven Kane and Andy Meyrick scored a fantastic victory at Silverstone in only the second race of the season - the first win on British soil for Bentley in over 80 years - before a second victory in the third round at Paul Ricard to take the championship lead. Going into the final round of the series at the Nürburgring 1000 km, the Bentley Boys had a shot at the championship. Ultimately, they and the teamfinished the season in an outstanding second place - A great achievement for the first season back in motorsport for Bentley in over a decade. On the other side of the Atlantic, Guy has continued his relationship with Dyson, driving the Continental GT3 for Dyson Racing Team Bentley in the Pirelli World Challenge. Guy scored Bentley’s first ever win outside of Europe with victory for the team at the final round of the season at Miller Motorsport Park in Utah.
More info: www.guysmith.com
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