Bentley Team M-Sport heads to Barcelona
Bentley Team M-Sport heads to the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup season finale in Barcelona with a chance of clinching the 2018 Pro Drivers’ title.
So competitive is the championship that no less than 15 crews representing six manufacturers remain in contention ahead of Sunday’s three-hour race. Among them are Bentley Team M-Sport’s Car number 7 line-up that comprises Jules Gounon (FR), Steven Kane (GB) and Jordan Pepper (ZA) whose Continental GT3 must win or claim pole position and finish second to have a chance of clinching the crown.
The first-generation Continental GT3 was no stranger to success at Barcelona where Bentley Team M-Sport sealed the Teams’ title in 2017 and finished second overall a year earlier. Now, armed with the new-for-2018 model, the outfit is hoping to end its European programme on a high by signing off with a strong result that could also potentially deliver another championship.
Indeed, both crews – the second of which features Vincent Abril (FR), Maxime Soulet (BE) and home favourite Andy Soucek (ES) – are aiming to at least match the Continental GT3’s best result of the season so far. The team followed up a second place at Paul Ricard by demonstrating race-winning pace at the 24 Hours of Spa two months ago only to be thwarted by bad luck that ultimately put paid to their podium chances. The team also finished sixth in the latest long-distance Intercontinental GT Challenge round at Suzuka in late August.
The current model’s predecessor is also on the grid this weekend thanks to Team Parker Racing who are once again targeting Pro/Am glory with their full-season driver line-up of Derek Pierce, Rob Smith and Seb Morris.
Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush, comments:
“We’ve spent most of 2018 honing the new Continental GT3 in its development year and now, after successful outings in France, Spain and Japan, it’s time to channel everything we’ve learnt into Blancpain GT Series’ three-hour finale, which feels more like a sprint than endurance race given our recent schedule. Signing off our European season with a win would give the crew a result deserving of their hard work and would also offer the #7 crew a chance of claiming the Drivers’ championship. The maths ensures that’s a long shot, so the pre-race focus is very much on securing the best results possible for M-Sport’s two Continental GT3s and then seeing where that leaves us in the final reckoning.”
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