Team Parker Racing to contest Blancpain GT Sprint Cup
Bentley will continue to compete in the European-based Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup this season after confirming that its official customer squad, Team Parker Racing, will enter a Continental GT3 in all five rounds.
The Silver Cup-eligible entry will be driven by Josh Caygill and Árón Taylor-Smith, both of whom are making their first appearances in a Bentley and for Team Parker Racing.
Caygill can rely on a year of Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup experience as preparation for his switch to a Sprint format that sees teams tackling two one-hour races per weekend. Prior to that the 28-year-old competed in several one-make touring car championships domestically and abroad.
Meanwhile, Taylor-Smith will be making his first appearance in a GT3 car after graduating from the highly competitive British Touring Car Championship. The Irish driver, also 28, finished as high as eighth overall during a six-year spell that featured four victories.
Both join a Team Parker Racing squad making its European racing return this season. But while 2018 represents its first Sprint Cup campaign, the British outfit is no stranger to either the first-generation Continental GT3 or Blancpain GT Series: it previously contested the championship’s Endurance Cup with Bentley in 2016 before winning the British GT Drivers’ title last season.
Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush: “Following last season’s title-winning campaign with the Continental GT3 we are delighted to see Team Parker Racing now also representing Bentley in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup. With M-Sport’s focus switching to the second-generation car’s development in the Endurance Cup and Intercontinental GT Challenge it was important that Bentley retained a presence in the shorter Sprint format, and Team Parker Racing’s proven experience of this in British GT made them ideal candidates.”
Both Caygill and Taylor-Smith recently tested the Continental GT3 at Navarra in Spain ahead of the season-opening Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup round at Zolder in Belgium on April 6-8. Eight further races are scheduled in Britain, Italy, Hungary and Germany before the end of 2018.
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