BENTLEY TEAM M-SPORT READY FOR EUROPEAN RACING SEASON
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- Continental GT3s head to Monza for Blancpain Endurance Series
- Team looks to build on successes of 2014
- New driver line-up for car #8, all-British trio for car #7 retained
- Bentley GT3 now racing on four continents around the world
(Crewe, 9th April 2015) Bentley’s motorsport season is set to continue this weekend with the first European race of the 2015 season for the works operation, Bentley Team M-Sport. The pair of Continental GT3 race cars, a new favourite amongst GT racing fans, will open their Blancpain Endurance Series accounts at Monza in Italy in a three-hour race on Sunday 12th April.
Having started their season in February with a fourth place finish at the gruelling 12 Hours of Bathurst in Australia, and a second place finish in the Blancpain Endurance Series last year, Bentley is looking to challenge for the title in its second season of GT3 racing. Preparations for the contest have been extensive, with the winter off-season spent refining the setup of the Continental GT3 and recruiting three new Bentley Boys for car #8. Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush, is ready for the start of the season:
“We’re all looking forward to getting our second Blancpain Endurance adventure underway. We start at Monza with all of the knowledge we’ve acquired in the last twelve months, and so will be able to hit the ground running. The competition will be fierce as we go up against some new GT3 entrants, and our focus will be scoring consistent points at every race so we can challenge for the title.”
The #7 Continental GT3 retains its all-British driver line-up of Guy Smith, Andy Meyrick and Steven Kane, who finished second in both the Teams’ and Drivers’ championship last year. The sister #8 Continental GT3 welcomes an all-new European driving trio, with Andy Soucek (Spain) and Maximilian Buhk (Germany) being joined by Maxime Soulet (Belgium).
Guy Smith, car #7: “Andy, Steven and I have spent weeks together over the break, training hard to be ready for the new season. We’re really looking forward to getting started, given that we can now use the experience of last year. We have base setups for all of the tracks and can hopefully compete at the front. We’ve refined every element of our operation as a team and we’re all excited about the races ahead.”
Andy Soucek, car #8: “I’m honoured to be a Bentley Boy, and after my first race with the team at Bathurst, I can’t wait to start our European season. The Continental GT3 has continued to be fast and reliable in our pre-season testing, and Maxi, Maxime and I have bonded really well as a driving team. Hopefully we can be quick straight away, and challenge our friends in car #7 immediately.”
Bentley’s progress throughout the race can be followed via the @BentleyComms Twitter feed, and live on Motors TV and www.blancpain-gt-series.com.
Blancpain Endurance Series Round 1, Monza - Schedule
Saturday 11th April (all times local)
|Session||Start Time||Finish Time||Duration|
|Free Practice||12:05||13:35||1h 30|
Sunday 12th April
|Session||Start Time||Finish Time||Duration|
Bentley racing around the world
Bentleys can now be seen competing on-track on four continents around the world. In Europe, Bentley Team M-Sport is joined by the works-supported Bentley Team HTP, between them tackling both the Blancpain Sprint and Endurance Series, the ADAC GT Masters and the VLN series (when reactivated). In the U.S., Bentley Team Dyson Racing is competing in their first full season of the Pirelli World Challenge with two Continental GT3s, whilst Bentley Team Absolute Racing is running three cars in the Far East in GT Asia.
Partners continue support for 2015
Bentley Motorsport is proud to continue its relationship with two key partners for the 2015 season. As a technical partner to the team, ExxonMobil has reaffirmed its commitment to Bentley’s success in motorsport. Bentley’s V8 race engine is filled with Mobil 1™ synthetic motor oil, to ensure maximum engine protection and performance in the gruelling environment of endurance racing. Together, engineers from Bentley and Mobil 1™ have ensured impeccable engine reliability for the Continental GT3 programme.
Bentley Motorsport is also partnered with premium British audio experts, Naim. Both Bentley and Naim are proud of their British heritage, with a shared reputation for offering their customers the very best products in their respective industries. The Naim for Bentley premium audio system is the pinnacle music system across the Bentley road car range, and Naim’s continuing support for Bentley’s racing programme is symbolic of the strong relationship between these two great British brands.
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Notes to editors
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- Bentley Motorsport is based at the Bentley Motors headquarters in Crewe. From there, the operation runs Bentley Team M-Sport, and oversees three works-supported teams around the world; Bentley Team Dyson Racing in the U.S., Bentley Team HTP in Europe and Bentley Team Absolute Racing in China.
- The Continental GT3 is built by the Bentley Motorsport team in conjunction with M-Sport. The Bentley GT3 team is led by Bentley Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush supported by M-Sport’s Chief Engineer, Christian Loriaux. M-Sport was originally formed in 1979, and in 1994 M-Sport won national rally titles in Italy, Portugal, the Middle East and Britain, the latter with founder Malcolm Wilson himself behind the wheel. Since 1996, M-Sport has run Ford’s WRC campaigns, including winning two FIA World Rally Championships in 2006 and 2007.
- Bentley Motors is the most sought after luxury car brand in the world. The company’s headquarters in Crewe is home to all of its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production of the company’s three model lines, Continental, Flying Spur and Mulsanne. The combination of fine craftsmanship, using skills that have been handed down through generations, alongside engineering expertise and cutting-edge technology is unique to UK luxury car brands such as Bentley. It is also an example of high-value British manufacturing at its best. Bentley employs around 3,800 people at Crewe.