Global programme comprises Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup and expanded Intercontinental GT Challenge
Four pro-class Continental GT3s to contest 24 Hours of Spa
All six Bentley works drivers retained
Customer team drivers to be promoted to central programme
(Middle East, 9thDecember 2018) Bentley Motorsport will enter both the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup and Intercontinental GT Challenge in 2019 with a four-car Pro-class entry in the season’s longest and largest race, 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
Following a successful development year for the second generation Continental GT3, Bentley Team M-Sport will challenge for overall honours in two of the highest profile GT championships in the world with its pair of race cars and six works team drivers. For the 24 Hours of Spa, the team will run two additional pro-class entries with all drivers to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
All six of the Bentley Motorsport works team racing drivers have been retained for the 2019 season. Vincent Abril (MCO), Jules Gounon (FRA), Steven Kane (GBR), Jordan Pepper (ZAF), Andy Soucek (ESP) and Maxime Soulet (BEL) will once again compete for Bentley Team M-Sport, as well as being available for Bentley’s global teams to utilise.
The expanded programme will see Bentley Motorsport continue its tradition of promoting customer team racing drivers to the central team, giving them the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Blancpain Sprint Series champion Vince Abril (MO) and Bentley Team ABT graduate Jordan Pepper (ZA).
Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush, comments:
“From the start of our GT3 programme, the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup has provided an ideal platform for us to demonstrate the performance of our cars and develop them for our customers to race around the world. The Intercontinental GT Challenge allows us to extend our programme outside of Europe, which is vital to reflect the global presence of our brand.
“I’m pleased that we’ve retained all of our six works team drivers for 2019, and we will run at least one car at the 24 Hours of Spa with the top drivers promoted
from our global customer team programme. Once these are confirmed, we will look at our options for the fourth car. The most important thing for us as a brand is that we have four driver teams capable of winning the race.
“As in previous years, Bentley Team M-Sport drivers will be available to our customer teams in 2019. So far, they have supported our teams racing in Super GT, Pirelli World Challenge, the British GT Championship, GT Masters and the Blancpain GT Series Asia, sharing valueable experience and knowledge.”
The 24 Hours of Spa is the fourth round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup – following races at Monza, Silverstone and Paul Ricard and preceeding a race at the Nürburgring. It is also the third round of the Intercontintal GT Challenge, which starts with Bathurst 12 Hours before heading to Laguna Seca 8 Hours and continuing after Spa with Suzuka 10 Hours and the new-for-2019 nine-hour race at Kyalami.