Guy Smith diary: Wednesday

British racer Guy Smith has been a key component of the Bentley team for the past three years, and heads into this weekend's Le Mans 24 Hours with a strong chance of taking victory. All weekend, Smith will be keeping a diary of his Le Mans 24 Hours experience for autosport.com. Here's his account of Wednesday, when team-mate Tom Kristensen put his car in provisional pole position

Guy Smith diary: Wednesday

"Well, my car is on top of the timesheets after the first qualifying session, so we're all really happy with that. We knew we would be strong after Tom Kristensen set the fastest time back at the pre-qualifying test days. We also knew that the first session was the time to get a flying lap in, because there's a good chance it could rain in the final qualifying session. Leaving it until the final qualifying session leaves everything to chance, se we'd rather get in early. Anyway, I think Tom's provisional pole time is going to be difficult to beat.

Obviously, Le Mans is the biggest race of the year for Bentley. I'm really looking forward to the race, which will be the third time I've competed in the event. It's really exciting to be a British driver in a British team, and the build-up to this weekend has been immense.

The EXP Speed 8 we're running this year is a completely new car, and it's been developed as much as possible for speed and endurance. As Bentley's test driver last year, I did a lot of running in the car, so I've had a lot of input into the design and development of the machine - it's kind of like my baby.

Obviously, I'm in the less high profile of the two Bentleys in terms of driver line-up, but I think that's a good thing because it's allowed me to sit out of the limelight a little bit. Although neither me nor my team-mates have driven in Formula 1 like the guys in the other car, we know we can be every bit as fast as them. Obviously, Tom has had a lot of success winning here the past three years, and Rinaldo Capello is loads of experience round here.

I'm getting on really well with Tom and Dindo. We've done a lot of fitness training together to help us prepare for the race. On Tuesday evening, the three of us ran round the circuit, which gave us time to talk about the race - and all sorts of other things! It's important that there's a good bond between the three of us, because it makes it much easier to trust one another under times of stress, which is vital. But as far as I'm concerned, there are no two better guys to team up with in an endurance race."

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