Bentley Motorsport Academy Drivers announced
Bentley Motorsport and Team Parker Racing have announced the inaugural Bentley Motorsport Academy drivers following a Portimao test session and off-track assessments.
Frank Bird (GBR) raced on the GT World Challenge Europe package in the single-seater Eurocup Formula Renault series. He will build on his GT4 and 24-hour race experience with his first season in a GT3 car. The judges agreed that he was a highly competent racer, open to advice and keen to develop.
Fellow Eurocup Formula Renault graduate and British F3 runner-up Nicolai Kjærgaard (DNK) will also step over from a full season of single-seaters to try his hand in the Continental GT3. He impressed at the test with his ability to adapt to the GT car quickly and with great improvements over a short period of time.
BRDC Rising Star Euan McKay is the most experienced GT racer in the line-up. The European GT4 Silver Cup race-winner has competed in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup Silver class previously, and will bring the knowledge needed in this young and exciting line-up.
With all three places in the Bentley Motorsport Academy filled, Bentley was then approached by Pierre-Alexandre Jean, 2018 GT4 International Cup winner and 2019 French GT4 runner-up. Motorsport agreed to open a fourth place in the squad for the 18-year old, who will benefit from the academy’s training programme but not race with Team Parker Racing.
Team Parker Racing’s Team Principal Stuart Parker said:
“After we announced the programme with Bentley, we were inundated with applicants, but we could only choose eight to test in Portimao and then three to continue into our racing team. Frank [Bird], Nicolai [Kjærgaard] and Euan [McKay] impressed us both on- and off-track and we knew they would be the perfect line-up for our Silver Cup Continental GT3.”
Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Paul Williams, comments:
“Team Parker Racing gave us feedback on all eight drivers based on how they were on track and how they worked with the team and all were strong candidates. We then discussed which drivers we felt had the potential to eventually become a Bentley works team racer and then which of those were ready for the challenge right now. This left us with our three GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Silver Cup drivers and inaugural Bentley Motorsport Academy squad.
”We thought that was ‘job done’ but then Pierre-Alexandre [Jean] came along and we were impressed with his professionalism and approach. Although he won’t be in the Team Parker Racing Silver Cup Continental GT3, we have invited him to join the Bentley Motorsport Academy and benefit from the training schedule we have planned.”
The Bentley Motosport Academy Team Parker Racing squad heads to the first round of the GT World Challenge Europe at Monza on 19th April.
Fans can follow the action from all of Bentley’s racing teams on social media: follow @BentleyRacing on Twitter and @BentleyRacingOfficial on Instagram.