Bentley factory pro driver Seb Morris made a return to the race track for the first time in four months with a test for Team Parker Racing at the Oulton Park circuit.
With Morris lapping quickest of all during the test session, it marks the first time he has been in the Bentley Continental GT3 since the COVID-19 lockdown started.
The purpose of the test was to support the Bentley Motorsport Academy squad mentoring Frank Bird. This was done by setting up the car and posting a benchmark time for Frank (which topped the timing screens) to then get as close to as possible. In doing this Frank managed to shave off 1.2 seconds around Oulton Park.
Morris is said to be elated to be back in real-world action after the long hiatus and competing in the SRO E-Sport GT Series. The test also meant that he rejoined his team with which he won the 2017 British GT Championship.
“It’s so good to be back”, said Morris, “It was great to work with the guys at Parker again and as a mentor to Frank Bird. Since the Bentley factory race programme ended due to the impact of coronavirus, my role now with Bentley is largely to assist the customer teams which is great as they’re the priority for what Bentley does in motorsport.
“During yesterday’s test at Oulton I set the car up, set a reference time – which was P1 – and then coached Frank who is obviously part of the Academy this year. I found him 1.2 seconds, which is fantastic around a track as challenging in a GT3 car.”
He added: “For my first couple of laps back out after so many months out of a car it really did feel like a rollercoaster. Oulton is one of the scariest tracks in a GT3 car, so tight and twisty with no margin for error. There’s a reason they call it the mini Nurburgring. I had to be mindful of looking after the car, but also pushing as well. After nearly four months out, I was very happy with the day.”
Seb Morris will next appear in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup test on 13-14 July before heading to Imola for the first round in the series.