We asked Dyson driver Guy Smith to give us a recap of what he has been up to in his off-season. To paraphrase, “it has been the best of times and the busiest of times”:
“I have no doubt that this has been the busiest off-season I have ever experienced. My wife Alicia and I welcomed our third daughter into the world, Myla Neve, on the 25th of October. Alicia was unable to drive and unable to lift anything heavier than Myla for a good few weeks. So my duties expanded to include doing all the lifting and driving. So along with the many jobs at home and school runs – the normal dad things – I have been kept busy, and as to be expected, on very little sleep!
“Having said that, I wouldn’t change it for the world. It has been great to spend the extra time with the girls and it’s been a treat to take my eldest daughter Bronte, to school in the morning – something I struggle to do during the racing season.
“During all of this, I managed to find time to take part in the Historic RAC Rally in my 1973 Ford Escort. It was an amazing challenge. Not only because it was a four-day event held during both day and night in the British forests, but this year we suffered the worst snowfall in 100 years in the UK. And it just so happened to coincide with the weekend of the rally! We fitted snow tyres which helped a lot, but when you are driving at over 100 mph at night in the snow, in the forest amongst the trees, it is about as challenging as driving gets!
“I started the event in 57th place out of 80 cars and by the final day I had worked my way up to 15th place, but with seven miles to go I suffered a right front puncture and went off the road which ruled me out of finishing the event, which was a shame. The main thing though, was that it was so much fun, and a great way to try something out of my comfort zone, and I am sure it will help my driving once I get back into the Mazda prototype.
“Christmas was fun. With three young children, it really is a magical time. You cannot put a price on seeing their faces on Christmas morning when they realized that Santa had been there. Truly priceless. Can’t say it was the most relaxing of days for me as I spent most of the day putting toys together and fitting batteries in them!
“I fell pretty Ill the day after Christmas with the flu. As I got over that, I picked up a throat infection almost straight away, so it was a rough few weeks but I am now over that and back at my training ready for the new season.
“I spent a couple of days at the Autosport International Show in the middle of January and it’s always a great time to catch up with friends from the racing world and it also gets you fired up for the year ahead.
“I am really looking forward to the 2011 season: my sixth full season with Dyson Racing and driving with Chris. I felt that last season we had a very good year but I was disappointed that we were not able to have a run at the championship due to a rough couple of races in the middle of the year. That aside, on performance alone, I think we could have had a shot at it, and Chris and I both know that, so we take that confidence with us into this year. 2011 is somewhat of a transition year in sportscar racing as the rule makers are still trying to find the right balance between all the different classes and until we get to the Sebring race we won’t exactly know where we stack up against the competition.
“I hope to keep you posted during the year and give you my thoughts on the season as it develops. In the meantime, a Happy New Year and good 2011 racing season to everybody.”