LE MANS STAR TO CROFT
Le Mans winner Guy Smith will return to Croft for the Christmas Stages Rally in a Ford Focus WRC car.
Smith – who won Le Mans with Bentley in 2003 – won at the Croft circuit in January on the Jack Frost Stages. Now the Bentley GT factory driver will compete in the earlier December 27 event, continuing his relationship in the car with co-driver Patrick Walsh.
“Anytime I do any rallying I really enjoy it, it’s nice to do something different and to do something purely for fun,” said Smith, son of regular national competitor Peter. “It is relaxing, but as soon as you’re into the first stage, and depending on how you’re getting on, the competitive instinct completely takes over.
“There’s always good people doing it: Ryan Champion is so he’ll be fast and Kevin Procter, it’s almost like his event. There’s always someone who’s a relative unknown who does well too. We’ll go there and try and win but the main thing is to have some fun and enjoy it.”
Smith’s time has been occupied by circuit racing for the majority of his career, but he’s looking to compete on more rallies in 2017 with a potential outing in a modern car on gravel in the offing. He last competed on the loose on the Riponian Rally in 2013 in a Ford Escort Mk2.
“I’d love to do more, I’d like to do something in a modern car on gravel as I’ve never driven anything modern on gravel,” he added.
“I do really enjoy the gravel stuff so you’re out of your comfort zone. I’d love to do a good gravel rally too, maybe in Ireland. I think it does help the circuit racing as the car is moving around and the conditions are changing.”
Peter Smith will also compete on the event. He’s down to drive an MG Metro 6R4 with Graham Wild in the co-driver’s seat.
Smith won at Croft in early 2016