Tom Kimber-Smith is a British racing driver who achieved his greatest results in the sports car racing, scoring three class victories at 24 hours of Le Mans. In 2006, he was the winner in the GT2 class and then, in 2011 and 2012, he scored two consecutive wins in the LMP2 class. He was also the Le Mans Series LMP2 champion in 2011. Except triumphing with LMP2 cars at Le Mans, he was a two-time runner-up in the Prototype Challenge category of the IMSA SportsCar Championship (in 2015 and 2016).
Championship title in the first year of racing career
Tom Kimber-Smith was born on November 1, 1984, in Ascot, Berkshire. His father Geoff was also a race car driver, who competed in the British Touring Car Championship during the 1980s.
Tom started his racing career at the age 16, competing in the T Cars series, open exclusively for drivers under 17. He became the 2000 champion, winning ten of twenty races.
Three seasons and triumph in the Formula Ford
From 2001 to 2003, Tom was competing in the British Formula Ford Championship. After he finished sixth in the points in 2002, Tom became the Formula Ford champion in 2003, winning five times in 20 races.
Tom's next step in a career with an open-wheel race car was 2004 Formula 3 Euro Series. He was driving for Team Kolles, alongside two German youngsters Adrian Sutil and Maximilian Gotz. Without wins and podiums, Kimber-Smith finished 20th in the points.
In 2005, Tom switched to the British Formula Renault, driving for Team JLR. He scored one podium (Oulton Park) and finished 12th in the points. It was his last season in the open-wheel racing, as he joined Team LNT in the 2006 British GT Championship.
2006 Le Mans class winner with Panoz Esperante
The Team LNT was running the Panoz Esperante GTLM not only in the British GT Championship but also at 12 hours of Sebring and at 24 hours of Le Mans. In his Sebring debut, sharing the #80 car with Richard Dean and Lawrence Tomlinson, Kimber-Smith finished 14th overall and 5th in GT2 class.
The highlight of the season was Tom's debut at 24 hours of Le Mans. The #81 Panoz Esperante, driven by Kimber-Smith, Tomlinson and Dean, scored the GT2 victory and 15th place overall.
2006 British GT Championship runner-up
In the 2006 British GT Championship, Tom Kimber-Smith scored podiums in eleven races he started, including three wins at Mondello Park and Magny-Cours. Tom's partner was Luke Hines and they finished second in the points.
Tom stayed with the Team LNT in 2007, driving three different cars in various competitions – Zytek 07S LMP2 prototype, Panoz Esperante GTLM and Ginetta G50 GT4. At 24 hours of Le Mans, Tom's partners in the #81 Panoz Esperante were Tom Milner and Danny Watts. They retired after 60 laps. In America, Tom was driving Panoz Esperante for Panoz Team PTG in two races (Sebring and Petit Le Mans).
No wins, no podiums, no racing in 2009
In 2008, Kimber-Smith had only one driving arrangement, driving for Cheever Racing in the Grand American Rolex Series. His car was Coyote-Pontiac prototype. After five races without wins and podiums, Tom was 32nd in the points.
After one season without racing, Kimber-Smith was back in 2010, driving Povey Racing's BMW M3 at Dubai 24h and joining Barwell Motorsport in two races, with Aston Martin DBRS9 in one round of the Spanish GT Championship and with Ginetta G55 GT3 in the Britcar's race at Brands Hatch.
Le Mans Series champion and Le Mans 24h winner in the same year
In 2011, Kimber-Smith returned to full-time racing, joining Greaves Motorsport and driving Zytek Z11SN Nissan-powered LMP2 prototype. He became the Le Mans Series champion in LMP2 class, scoring three wins in five races.
He won at Paul Ricard, Imola and Silverstone, sharing the car with Karim Ojjeh, Olivier Lombard and Gary Chalandon. Lombard and Ojjeh were also his partners at 24 hours of Le Mans, where they scored an LMP2 class victory and 8th place overall.
One more victory at Circuit de la Sarthe
In 2012, Kimber-Smith continued to drive for Greaves Motorsports in the European Le Mans Series and American Le Mans Series, but also joined Core Autosport in the ALMS and Starworks Motorsports in the FIA World Endurance Championship, including Le Mans 24h.
In 2013, Tom had driving duties with Greaves Motorsport and Core Autosport. At Le Mans 24-hour race he was partnered by Alexander Rossi and Eric Lux in the Greaves Motorsport's Zytek. They finished 10th in LMP2 class. In America, Tom was driving for Core Autosport both in the LMPC and GT class of the American Le Mans Series, combining Oreca FLM09 prototype and Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
Kimber-Smith had four different teams in 2014
In 2014, Tom stayed with Greaves Motorsports in the European Le Mans Series, participating in three races with Zytek LMP2 prototype. At Le Mans, he was driving that car for Caterham Racing, partnering Chris Dyson and Matt McMurry. They finished 11th in the LMP2 class.
Tom's North American arrangements in 2014 included the 8 Star Motorsports in the PC class of the IMSA United SportsCar Championship and Turner Motorsport in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. With two podiums in twelve races, driving BMW M3, Tom finished 7th in the CTSCC classification and it was his best result of all competitions in 2014.
2015 Daytona 24h victory with PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports
For 2015 season, Tom concentrated all his efforts to the campaign with PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports in the IMSA PC class. Sharing the car with Mike Guasch, Andrew Palmer and Andrew Novich, Tom scored a class victory at Daytona 24h.
His full-season partner was Mike Guasch and after four wins in twelve races they finished second in the final classification, just five points behind Core Autosport's Jonathan Bennett and Colin Braun.
Losing the IMSA Prototype Challenge title again
Kimber-Smith and Alon scored three PC class wins (Laguna Seca, Road America and Petit Le Mans) and finished tied in the points with Starworks Motorsport's Alex Popow and Renger van der Zande. The Starworks' duo scored four wins and they were champions, so Tom Kimber-Smith was a runner-up for the second year in a row.
In 2017, Kimber-Smith made just three starts with PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports in the Prototype class, driving the #52 Ligier JS P2 in first three rounds together with Mike Guasch and Jose Gutierrez.