Bentley Motorsport is set to compete in the opening round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC), the Bathurst 12 Hour, for the fifth time. This will mark the first competitive outing for the second-generation Continental GT while also being part of Bentley’s centenary year commemorations.
Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush said: “Our founder Walter Owen Bentley’s mission statement was ‘to build a good car, a fast car, the best in class’, and we’re forging ahead in this spirit with the Continental GT3 after an encouraging debut year of development. Motor racing has been at the heart of Bentley since its inception 100 years ago. From the Le Mans-winning Speed 6 to the Continental GT3 of today, we have pushed our engineering expertise to the limit in the most challenging conditions to develop the world’s leading luxury performance cars that you see in our showrooms.”
“Bathurst 12 Hour is not only one of the most exciting motor races in the world but presents some of racing’s most uncompromising tests. Everyone in the team is looking forward to the challenge again, and to seeing our loyal fanbase in Australia.”
The 23-turn, 6.2 km Bathurst road circuit in New South Wales is considered one of the world’s toughest thanks to its high speeds, narrow mountain section, blind apexes and steep elevation changes, while the 1.9 km Conrod Straight, where the Continental GT3 can hit speeds of 270 kmph, is one of the longest to be sanctioned in world motorsport.
The two Continental GT3s will commemorate the marque’s centenary with a new livery and new numbers. The cars, which normally carry the #7 and #8 race plates, this year will have 100 added to them. Therefore, The car driven by two-time Bathurst 12-Hour podium-finisher Steven Kane along with team-mates Jordan Pepper and Jules Gounon will bear the #107 plate. Meanwhile, the second car, driven by Andy Soucek, Maxime Soulet and Vince Abril will bear the #108 plate.
This year, Bentley Motorsport is mounting an expanded dual campaign which means a full-season assault on the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup with Bentley Team M-Sport, as well as the four global IGTC events: the California 8 Hours of Laguna Seca, the 24 Hours of Spa, Suzuka 10 Hours and the new Kyalami 9 Hour race in South Africa.