The Bentley backed factory effort from M-Sport will cease its full time 2020 Intercontinental GT Challenge programme this season with nominated customers set to score points on the manufacturer’s behalf.
The new programme sees the two car effort from M-Sport turn into a support role for the team, who are remaining as Bentley’s technical partner. They will be assisting the eight customer teams that will be representing Bentley in five major championships, including the IGTC, this year in what is said to be a renewed focus on customers during this difficult time. Reports seem to indicate however that this will just be for 2020 and will be back next year.
Although M-Sport ran Bentley’s from their first season in 2013, they have been leading Bentley’s participation in GT3 racing since 2016 where their first IGTC victory at the Bathurst 12 hours earlier in the season set a new distance record for the endurance event.
Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Paul Williams, said: “Of course we’re disappointed not to see M-Sport complete the Intercontinental GT Challenge this season – especially after their record-breaking victory at Bathurst – but we said at the end of last year that in 2020 we would be fully focused on our customers and we need to do that now more than ever. Our customer teams, drivers and sponsors have all endured difficult times financially but they have worked hard to ensure we have 12 cars ready to be competitive once racing continues – it is our duty to continue to stand by our customers and make this season a success.”
“Bentley Team M-Sport was outstanding at Bathurst and we hope to have the race-winning outfit back on track with us very soon.”
“We also hope to have some new customer team news to share in the coming weeks, with the Continental GT3 set to take on another top-level series. We are also working with M-Sport to see if they can run at the Total 24 Hours of Spa, which they would enter as a customer team with our backing like our other teams.”
2020’s Intercontinental campaign continues with the inaugural Indianapolis 8 Hour on October 2-4. America’s race is followed by the Total 24 Hours of Spa and Kyalami 9 Hour