LE MANS STAR TO CROFT

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

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

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