(Poughkeepsie, NY, 17 August, 2015) Guy Smith will replace Butch Leitzinger in the #20 Bentley Team Dyson Racing Bentley Continental GT3 for the remainder of the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge season, beginning with this weekend’s race meeting at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, UT. Leitzinger will remain as the team’s reserve driver.
Smith, who has a lengthy and successful history with both Dyson Racing and Bentley Motors, competed last season for Bentley Team Dyson Racing in the final two race meetings of the season, scoring Bentley’s first Pirelli World Challenge series victory in the season finale at Miller Motorsports Park.
The announcement was made by Rob Dyson, founder and CEO of Bentley Team Dyson Racing. “While the team has made good progress since joining the series in the middle of the 2014 season, we’re not yet where we need to be in terms of being competitive every race weekend,” Dyson said. “Butch has done a great job for Dyson Racing over the past 20 years, including last season and this, and as our reserve driver he remains a member of the team.
“In our quest to increase the team’s performance in the Pirelli World Challenge we’ve been looking at every option available. Guy won for us last season at Miller and we know him very well from the many years he drove for us in the American Le Mans Series. This will be a seamless transition.”
Dyson noted that the decision to change drivers was made in close consultation with Bentley Motors, with the goal of building a closer relationship with Bentley’s global motorsports effort in the GT3 category. “Guy has been leading the Continental GT3 program for Bentley in the FIA Blancpain Endurance Series,” Dyson noted. “We believe that will provide useful synergy as our team works to establish a more consistent level of performance in the Pirelli World Challenge.”
When Smith takes the green flag on Saturday at Miller Motorsports Park, it will mark the 11th season in which he has competed for Dyson Racing.
Smith, who brought the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning Bentley under the checkered flag, made his debut with Dyson Racing at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2005 and also raced for the team at that season’s Petit Le Mans. That led to a full-time ride with the Dyson team in 2006 and Guy has remained a fixture in the group’s efforts ever since. Highlights of Smith’s tenure include multiple race wins, pole positions and the 2011 IMSA American Le Mans Series championship, co-driving with Chris Dyson, along with the Pirelli World Challenge victory at Miller Motorsports Park in 2014.
Since 2013, Smith has led much of the development driving for the Bentley Continental GT3 and has raced for Bentley’s works team for the past two seasons in the European FIA Blancpain Endurance Series.
Bentley Team Dyson Racing’s performance can be followed via live stream at www.world-challengetv.com.
The races will be broadcast by CBS Sports Network Sunday, 30 August, 4:00 PM Eastern (GMT -5). Times and dates subject to change.