Bentley, one of the oldest and most famous names in endurance racing, is nearing a return to prototype competition, according to motorsportmagazine.com.
The British marque has revealed plans to enter an LMP2 team, possibly in 2017 but most likely in 2018 ahead of the company’s centenary the following year.
Bentley chief Wolfgang Durheimer told motorsportmagazine.com that LMP1 was “too complicated and too expensive” for the group’s plans.
However, the post-2017 LMP2 regulations will provide a more cost-effective platform, also offering the opportunity to race in the company’s largest market, the United States.
Therefore Bentley would have to adopt one of the four consigned LMP2 chassis for its new car, picking between Dallara, Riley-Multimatic, Onroak or Oreca.
As for the engine, Durheimer has stated that Bentley will be able to produce its own power that can be used further by customer teams.
He also wants the project to be a standalone Bentley operation, in contrast with the Continental GT3 package which carries the flying B but is actually run by M-Sport.
Bentley is one of the top makes in endurance racing, having won the 24 Hours of Le Mans six times. The most recent success came with the Speed 8 in 2003, when Guy Smith, Rinaldo Capello and Tom Kristensen beat the privateer Audi R8s and Courages to end a 73 year drought at the French classic.