Bentley aims to conquer Catalonia in 2019 Blancpain finale
Bentley Motorsport is returning to Europe, travelling to the Eastern coast of Spain, looking to take its second victory of the year in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup finale on the 29th September.
The Motorsport team will run a pair of Continental GT3 race cars at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, both sporting centenary numbers and liveries celebrating Bentley’s 100th year.
Located just minutes from Barcelona itself, the famous circuit is considered an all-rounder, with its variation of high and low-speed corners posing a unique challenge to both car and driver, ensuring that any weakness in either is exposed.
Spanish Bentley works driver, Andy Soucek (ES), is promising to “put on a show” for his home fans on a weekend that will also see him act in his role as ambassador for the Maria de Villotta Legacy charity.
The charity, set up in honour of Spanish ex-Marussia F1 test driver de Villotta who died after a crash in 2013, aims to continue the work she started to help disadvantaged children and young people with rare diseases.
Soucek has worked with organisers of the Barcelona round of the Blancpain series to rename the race weekend El Festival de Velocidad, Legado Maria de Villotta, with the charity the theme of the event.
Soucek will be joined in the number 108 car by fellow works driver Maxime Soulet (BE), while Callum Macleod steps up from Bentley’s customer GT3 programme having already impressed at Paul Ricard and Spa.
The number 107 line-up remains as it has done all season, with Jules Gounon (FR), Steven Kane (GB) and Jordan Pepper (ZA) looking to emulate their dominant victory at Paul Ricard.
The final Continental GT3 on the grid will be run by Team Parker Racing, with Derek Pierce (GB) and Seb Morris (GB) looking to take victory in the Pro-Am Cup in car number 31.
Ahead of his home race, Soucek added: “It’s always good to come back to Barcelona. The fans are fantastic, and will undoubtedly give me and the other Spanish drivers something extra.
“It’s not only my home race, but also draws the European leg of an incredibly busy season to a close. After a real year of ups and downs, I am looking to enjoy myself, be as fast as possible, and put on a show for the fans both at the circuit and tuning in from home.”
MacLeod commented: “I’ve only raced at Barcelona once in my career and that was in single-seaters, but I’ve been to the circuit plenty of times acting as a race engineer. It’s a unique challenge, but one that I can’t wait to take on in a Bentley.
“I’m really excited to be back in car 108, Andy and Max were a great help at Paul Ricard and I’m sure that their experience will be invaluable here as well. We had a really strong race at Ricard and were unlucky not to be on the podium so we will be doing everything we can to make up for it this time round.”
Paul Williams, Bentley Director of Motorsport, said: “With my first race as part of the team done and dusted, I’m keen to start really pushing on. We have all the tools we need to succeed, and everyone at Bentley Team M-Sport is dedicated to finishing the European season on a high.”
Car 107: Steven Kane (GB), Jules Gounon (FRA) and Jordan Pepper (ZAF)
Car 108: Andy Soucek (ESP), Maxime Soulet (BEL) and Callum MacLeod (GB)
The fifth round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, the Three Hours of Barcelona, takes place on Sunday 29 September at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Fans can follow the action on Twitter using @BentleyRacing and on Instagram using @BentleyRacingOfficial.