Ten years after winning the world’s most grueling endurance race, Bentley is back in motorsport as the team takes on the Gulf 12 Hours.
After winning the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans, Team Bentley took a ten year sabbatical from the world of racing but has staged a comeback with its new GT3 contender – the Continental.
Indeed the driving team consist of one of those very Le Mans winners – Guy Smith – alongside other British drivers Steven Kane and Andy Meyrick.
Guy comments: “After four months of hard work and development testing, we definitely feel ready to start focusing on our race performance. Running the car against the competition for the first time is really exciting, and I’m thrilled to be back behind the wheel of a Bentley race car.”
This Middle Eastern charge marks the start of a 2014 racing campaign which will see the British challenger take on the likes of Mercedes, BMW, Aston Martin and Audi in the Blancpain Endurance Series.
The programme is being led by Bentley’s Director of Motorsport Brian Gush and after winning the 2003 Le Mans 24 Hours, Brian knows exactly what it takes to run a successful Bentley: “It’s been a very busy year for the team but we’re on schedule and exactly where we wanted to be – at our first test race with a car that has serious pace and strong reliability, as should be the case for any Bentley. Racing with the Continental GT is a dream I’ve had ever since we launched the first generation in 2003 and while our focus in Abu Dhabi is on gaining more data during our testing phase, it feels great to be back in a competitive race environment.”
Bentley won’t be running the project alone – the team have been receiving support from multiple WRC champions M-Sport. Using the teams rallying experience, they helped turn the Continental into a fully formed GT3 racer.
M-Sport Team Manager, Matthew Wilson says: “Our work with Bentley on the Continental GT3 programme is our first venture in to track-based racing and our partnership has meant we’ve learnt a great deal from each other to design and develop this new competitor. Our technical team has worked closely with Bentley engineers to create the GT3, and I’m confident that we’ve engineered a car that can take on the competition and ultimately win races.”