Guy Smith


Record updated

Guy Smith
Guy Smith began his racing career in karts at the tender age of 12, notching up four championship titles and four runner-up titles, including the highly prestigious World Kart Championship of 1991.

His first car race came just 9 weeks after his 17th birthday. Following four very successful years in the lower formulae of Formula Ford and Formula Vauxhall, the "Autosport Young Kartist" and "Autosport Young Driver of the Year" finalist graduated to the Formula Renault Sport Championship with Manor Motorsport.

Guy totally dominated the 1995 season, taking the championship title with no less than 9 race wins and 11 pole positions.

This performance was enough to prompt Williams F1 to invite Guy to test Damon Hill's Williams-Renault F1 car at Silverstone, where he quickly settled into producing some stunningly quick lap times.

Guy started 1996 by winning his debut race in the 1996 British Formula 3 Championship with a flag-to-flag victory. he finished sixth in the F3 championship that season and, after a partial season of Formula 3 the following year; he was invited to join Johansson Motorsport to contest the 1998 Indy Lights series in the USA.

Guy finished the season third overall after winning two races from pole position (Portland and Toronto) and was awarded CART's "Rookie of the Year" title.

For the following season, Guy joined the championship-winning Tasman Motorsport Team as teammate to Brazilian Airton Dare. Sadly the team was sold in the early part of the season to Forsythe Racing and this caused the team's engineering continuity to break down.

The anticipated Championship-winning success was not forthcoming but a highlight of the year was achieving pole position at Laguna Seca, finishing on the podium at Portland and Chicago and subsequently being invited to test a Reynard ChampCar for Walker Motorsports.

The following season Guy decided on a change of career path and was one of three drivers invited to pilot the brand-new Reynard 2KQ-LM Sports Prototype of Johansson Matthews Racing, alongside ex-Formula 1 driver and Le Mans winner Stefan Johansson and team owner Jim Matthews.

The team competed in the 2000 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in addition to the Le Mans 24 Hours race, in which Guy claimed another "Rookie of the Year" award. However Reynard's first foray into the world of Sports Car Racing was not a success as the car proved woefully unreliable; the highlight of the season being a 4th place finish at the Daytona 24Hrs race. Guy also passed his Indianapolis 500 "Rookie Orientation Test" aboard a Dallara IRL car.

However all was not lost as Guy's talent and speed were immediately recognised by Team Bentley who were putting together a 3-year programme to win Le Mans. Guy was offered a race seat for 2001 alongside team mates Martin Brundle and Stephane Ortelli and was lying 3rd at Le Mans when the car broke down.

He also contested the 2001 European Le Mans Series with Stefan Johansson in the Gulf-sponsored Audi R8, notching up 3 top four finishes. Guy was also invited to drive the Reynard-Judd LMP900 car for the Monza 1000kms where he gained pole position and led the race until the brakes failed with 10 laps to go.

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. 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.

In 2003 Guy was a central figure in Team Bentley's attack on both the Sebring 12hrs and the Le Mans 24hrs. He partnered four time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen and 'Dindo' Capello to a strong 4th place finish at Sebring in the 12 hours and the trio swept all before them at Le Mans in June to capture pole position and 1st place in the world-famous 24 Hours 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.

After Bentley decided to call time on its Le Mans programme Guy was selected to drive for Audi UK at Sebring and Le Mans in 2004 driving an R8 alongside former F1 driver Johnny Herbert and Jamie Davies. They had a strong run to 3rd place at Sebring followed by 2nd position at Le Mans after leading for most of the 24hr race and coming in a very close 43 seconds behind the winning Audi after a 24hr battle.

Guy also got the chance to try something new and was asked to drive the final seven races of the Champ car world series for Rocketsports racing scoring several top 10 finishes.

In 2005 Guy concentrated on the American Grand-Am series with Orbit Racing as well as racing in the Sebring 12 hrs and the Petit Le Mans with Dyson racing.