Bentley Continental GT3 storms to victory at Silverstone
M-Sport Bentley writes a new piece of Bentley history at Silverstone with a stunning victory at the second round of the Blancpain Endurance Series. In only the second competition event for both the Continental GT3 and the new race team, the #7 car driven by Guy Smith, Andy Meyrick and Steven Kane drove an astonishing race to take the chequered flag in first place.
After recovering from a drive-through penalty in the first stint that left car #7 in 7th place, a combination of flawless driving and perfect pit-stops allowed Steven Kane to take the lead with just 15 minutes of the three-hour race left. He was then able to manage the pace and maintain a two-second gap to the #99 McLaren of Andy Soucek, eventually leading him across the line to take the chequered flag to the delight of the M-Sport Bentley team and the British fans gathered at the track.
Rolf Frech, Member of the Board for Engineering at Bentley, comments:
“We knew our Continental GT3 was a potential race winner, but to finish first in only the car’s second race in the series feels very special. Bentley has a history of winning, and today we’ve written the start of the next chapter in our long history. The victory today is the result of an outstanding effort by the whole team, and is the reward for a great deal of hard work since the first round at Monza.”
Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush, adds:
“That was a hard-fought race. When Guy took the drive-through penalty in the first hour, we knew we had the pace to get back on the podium, and we were determined to do so. The car was very strong, the drivers were impeccable and the pit stop crew recorded their best ever times – including their practices over the last month! The Continental GT3’s strength is in long, fast corners, and our pace here will hopefully translate in to good speed at the other rounds of the championship. In the meantime, a maiden victory at the home of British motorsport feels fantastic.”
Steven Kane was behind the wheel for the final stint and took the chequered flag. He comments:
“Today has been epic. We didn’t get any real dry running done yesterday because of the weather, so we were relieved when we set good times in qualifying this morning. In the race, the car was fantastic, especially with how well it looked after its tyres. That gave me the grip and traction I needed to take the lead in to Brooklands, and after that we knew we could hold first place. Standing on the top step of the podium with Guy and Andy was a very, very special moment and I now know I can call myself a true Bentley Boy.”
The second M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 of Jérôme D’Ambrosio, Duncan Tappy and Antoine Leclerc had a tougher afternoon. Starting from P14, Jérôme was hit by another car and forced off the track on the third lap, sustaining a puncture. The ensuing pit stop dropped the #8 Bentley to 42nd place, but over the rest of the race the car was able to recover to finish in 15th – a great result given the poor start.
The team now looks forward to the third round of the Blancpain Endurance Series, to be held at Paul Ricard on Saturday 28th June.
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