During her Golden Jubilee tour of the UK, Queen Elizabeth spoke at the Harewood House in Yorkshire and summed up the character of the Yorkshireman as “decisive and determined.” Fellow competitors of racer Guy Smith would not dispute that assessment of the Yorkshire born and raised driver’s skills on the race track.
Guy raced in four 2014 Pirelli World Challenge races in the #88 Bentley Continental GT3 the last part of the PWC season. He set fastest lap in all four races, started from pole three times and won the penultimate round of the series in the Dyson Racing Team Bentley entry (on his 40th birthday). Guy’s win gave Bentley their first win in North America. In addition, Guy was a co-driver of the #7 M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 in the Blancpain Endurance Series in Europe and won back to back races at Silverstone and Paul Ricard. He finished the season in second place in the Pro Cup drivers championship. At the end of the year, he won the British Drivers’ Club (BRDC) John Cobb Trophy, presented to the best British drivers.
Guy made history in 2012 when he set the record for the closest ever overall finish in ALMS history with his 0.083 margin of victory over Lucas Luhr after four hours of racing at Road America. Guy also set a track record with his pole at Lime Rock, the team’s home track. He and Chris Dyson finished second in the 2012 American Le Mans Series P1 Drivers Championship, nine points out of first. In addition to the overall victory at Road America, they bookended the season with first place ALMS P1 points at the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda. For the 2013 season, the team switched gears after the Lime Rock race and Guy ran a partial season as they focused on 2014, netting Guy a fifth place in the ALMS P1 drivers championship and a pole at the fast VIR track.
In 2011, Guy won the American Le Mans Series Drivers P1 Championship. Guy and Chris led the point’s battle from the season’s first race and in addition to the win at Dyson Racing’s home track of Lime Rock, Guy won four poles and set four fastest laps in the course of the season. He and Chris took home first place ALMS points in the joint ALMS/ILMC 12 Hours of Sebring and the Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda. They never finished lower than second in the remaining seven races and won the title by sixty-two points.
The winner of the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans started his career young, beginning in go-karts when he was twelve. Like all notable drivers, he made his mark early. He won four championships in five years, earning the prestigious McLaren/Autosport Young Kartist of the Year award. He graduated to Formula First in 1991, finishing second in the championship in his debut year.
In 1992, he drove a Vauxhall Junior – won five races and was second in the championship. He moved up to British Formula Ford the following year and won a nomination for the coveted McLaren/Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award. More Formula Vauxhall wins in 1994 led to the 1995 Formula RenaultSport Championship, winning the title in his first year. He did two seasons of Formula Three, starting off by winning his first race from the pole.
Guy went to America in 1998 to race in the Indy Lights Championship, placing third in the championship his first year and winning the “Rookie of the Year” title. After another year in Indy Lights, Guy continued to demonstrate his ability to be quick in diverse categories, racing in the American Le Mans Series and driving at Le Mans for the first time, which added another “Rookie of the Year” title to his collection.
Team Bentley recognized his talent and hired him as part of their three-year plan to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He won Le Mans, arguably the world’s most prestigious race, in 2003.
When Bentley left sports car racing, Guy drove for Audi UK in 2004, placing third at the 12 Hours of Sebring and second at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, finishing forty-three seconds behind the winning Audi after a twenty-four hour battle. He also did seven Champ Car races with Rocketsports Racing, finishing in the top ten five times.
In addition to racing in the Grand-Am series in 2005, Guy drove for Dyson Racing in 2005 at the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans, where he finished second with Chris Dyson. Smith joined Dyson Racing full time in 2006, partnering Chris Dyson in the Thetford/Norcold entry, and claiming consecutive fastest race laps at Road America and Mosport. He co-drove the LMP2 Porsche RS Spyder in 2007 to fourth in the driver’s championship, only four points behind fellow Dyson drivers Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace. In 2008, he finished sixth in the LMP2 standings, garnering eight top-six finishes, including a class third in the 12 Hours of Sebring. In his fourth year with Dyson Racing, Guy finished fourth in the 2009 LMP2 driver’s championship in the #16 Mazda Lola coupe. In the penultimate race of the season, he and Chris Dyson finished seven laps ahead of the class winning #20 Dyson entry at the Petit Le Mans, though they were not eligible for points as they were testing the new biofuel blend isobutanol the last two races of the season.
2010 was Guy’s sixth year with Dyson Racing and a good year. He and Chris Dyson took the overall win at Mid-Ohio in August, his first overall ALMS win, plus he won the overall pole at Mazda Raceway in May and backed it up with the LMP2 pole at the season-ending Petit Le Mans in October. Guy is currently in his tenth year with Dyson Racing.
Bentley’s 2003 Le Mans win was their first in seventy-three years. His win at Silverstone in 2014 was Bentley’s first at the storied track and his win at Miller Motorsports Park in September of 2014 was Bentley’s first in North America. When it came time to bring the car home to victory at the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans for the last two hours, the team put Guy in the car. Votes of confidence do not come much stronger than that. Or as Rob Dyson said after his 2010 Mazda Raceway pole: “Guy is like the mailman – he always delivers.”