Bentley wins Misano Sprint qualifying race
Bentley Team M-Sport made its Blancpain Sprint Series Cup debut at Misano, Italy, this weekend, and won the first race of the event, putting Continental GT3 car number 8 on pole for Sunday’s main competition.
Drivers Andy Soucek (ES) and Maxime Soulet (BE) chose to start Saturday’s one-hour night race on slick tyres, while all but one of the other 38 competitors started on wets, a decision that ultimately won Bentley Team M-Sport its debut Sprint Series Cup race.
The victory secured pole position for main race and handed Bentley eight valuable points towards the Blancpain GT Series and Blancpain Sprint Series Cup titles.
Sunday’s main race was not so fortuitous for Bentley Team M-Sport. Running in third place, the #8 Continental GT3 of Soulet was tapped from behind and sent spinning. An hour later, following a valiant charge, Soucek crossed the line in P11.
The #7 Continental GT3 of Steven Kane (GB) and defending Sprint Series Cup champion Vince Abril (MO) started the main one-hour race from P20 and finished in P17.
“We struggled to match the qualifying pace, so we knew we had to rely on strategy to get a result in the races,” commented Bentley’s Director of Motorsport Brian Gush. “We took a gamble with tyres with car number eight and it paid off. We would have liked to have come away with more points but, given the circumstances this weekend, I think we did the best job we could.”
The Blancpain GT Series continues at Monza in late April 2016 for the first of five endurance races. Bentley Team M-Sport will continue with its two Continental GT3s and the drivers will be joined by Guy Smith (GB) and Wolfgang Reip (BE).
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