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Waiting game for Bradley Smith after Daytona
BRADLEY Smith is locked in a waiting game to find out what his next move will be in motorsport.
The 22-year-old Billericay driver made an impressive debut at the Rolex 24 endurance race at Daytona Beach in America.
And the 2013 Radical SR3 Challenge champion is hoping something may come out of his race at the world-famous Florida track.
“We are waiting to see what will happen before making any decisions on this season,” said Bradley’s dad Mike, who is also boss of the Mectech Motorsport team.
“There are a few people making noises that they wanted to talk to us but we are waiting to see if anything comes of that.”
Smith was part of a four-man team driving the Marsh Racing Daytona Prototype Chevrolet-powered sportscar in the 24-hour endurance race.
The Essex racer had only had limited testing in the car before the race and only got another three laps in before team-mate Eric Curran qualified the car in 12th place on the grid.
Smith took over after Curran’s first stint and was quickly matching the pace of more experienced drivers before he was parked up for 50 minutes on the track’s banking following a serious crash involving two cars.
He completed another 45 minutes before pitting, with the team impressed by his performance.
Smith also completed a nightime stint before being told that he would be given the honour of driving the car over the finishing line.
The team had to deal with three mechanical problems during the race, but Smith took the chequered flag 10th in the Daytona Prototype class and 41st overall in the 70-car field.
It was Marsh Racing’s first time racing a Daytona Prototype in the race and it was a learning curve for the American outfit.
“It was an incredible few days,” said Smith. “The build up, the atmosphere, the huge number of spectators and the competition on the track was amazing. I enjoyed the whole Daytona experience.
“Although the racing was quite different than I’m used to, because of the sheer number of cars and the various levels of performance between them, I am very pleased with the way things went and with the pace I was able maintain.
“However, it is a team event, so it was important to drive with that in mind. I therefore have to thank all the guys at Whelen Motorsports and Marsh Racing, IMSA and, of course, Sunoco for providing me with this fantastic opportunity.”
Smith got the chance to compete in the race after winning the Sunoco challenge as part of his successful season in the Radical SR3 Cup.
His Mectech team-mate Lewis Plato, who is also from Billericay, drove the Mitchum Motorsport Chevrolet Corvette in the Sunoco 200 Challenge support race.
Plato, 20, partnered American driver Cameron Lawrence during the race.
They qualified 17th and were running as high as third before a series of yellow flags around their pit stops hampered their race and they finished 20th.
Plato will be stepping up from the Radical Clubman’s Cup to the Radical SR3 Challenge this season.
Daniel Vaughan has also joined the team this year and will compete in the Clubman’s Cup.
The 17-year-old from Minstead, in Hampshire, raced in the entry level Radical SR1 series in 2013.
Vaughan knows Plato from when they raced for the same team in karting.
Mectech will begin pre-season testing later this month at Snetterton.