Team M-Sport Bentley scores second Blancpain win for 2014 at Paul Ricard
Bentley scores second Blancpain victory at Paul Ricard Circuit
2014 Bentley Boys take Blancpain championship lead
The #7 M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 driven by Guy Smith, Andy Meyrick and Steven Kane powered to victory on Saturday June 28th in the third round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at the Paul Ricard circuit in southern France. This win marks the team's second victory in a row, moving Smith, Meyrick and Kane in to the lead in the overall drivers’ championship standings ahead of the 24 Hours of Spa race at the end of July 2014.
Steven Kane powered his way to victory on the Le Castellet track, finishing with a narrow lead of just 1.1 seconds after three hours of racing, in a race that demanded the very best from both the Continental GT3 and its trio of drivers. The fight for the win dominated the third and final hour-long stint of the race, with the gap between the #7 car and the second-placed ART McLaren of Parente, Demoustier and Lapierre varying between six seconds and less than one second.
Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush, comments:
“This was a tough race to win, and I’m delighted that we’ve succeeded. We know that our race pace tends to be better than our qualifying pace, so we went in to this evening’s race with the aim of improving from our grid slots. When we saw how well the Continental GT3 was looking after its tyres, we knew we had to push for the podium, and the team responded. The pit stops were slick, the calls from the race engineers were outstanding and our strategy was ideal. Andy then did a great job to take the lead during his stint, but Steven had to get everything out of the car to hold off the McLaren. The last 40 minutes were tense for everyone and we weren’t sure if we could keep ahead, but it was a great battle and I’m delighted that Andy, Steven and Guy leave here leading the championship.”
Bentley Boy Andy Meyrick took the lead half way through the race, and comments:
“We came here knowing we could do well, but to come away with another win feels incredible. Guy was able to make a great start on new tyres, and he used them really well to make up places in the first few laps. That put me in the position to challenge for the lead, but the McLaren made me work for it, and I had to pull-off a really tricky move to get past him. Steven then had to keep the lead, which definitely wasn’t easy and we had to push right until the end. We’ve shown what the Bentley is capable of in a close fight and I couldn’t be happier.”
The second Continental GT3 of Antoine Leclerc, Jérôme D’Ambrosio and Duncan Tappy was forced to retire on lap 41 due to a drivetrain issue.
M-Sport Bentley now looks forward to the Total 24 Hours of Spa, which starts on the afternoon of Saturday 26th July.
Read more about Bentley Motorsport and the Blancpain Endurance race schedule here.
Explore the new Bentley Continental GT3-R, inspired by the race-winning Continental GT3, here.
Read about our Blancpain Series Motorsport Hospitality packages here.