It’s no joke though as three accomplished British sports car racers are spearheading Bentley’s return to competitive motorsport in the Continental GT3. The team compete together for the first time at the car’s first test race, the Gulf 12 Hours at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi on 13th December 2013.
Guy Smith, Steven Kane and Andy Meyrick will pilot the Continental GT3 in two six-hour races in Bentley’s first track-action since winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003.
Final preparations for the Continental GT3’s first race appearance are now under way following the completion of initial development work with an endurance test. Car and drivers all performed strongly and, reflecting the nature of the Continental GT road car on which it is based, the car continues its testing form of being both fast and extremely reliable.
Bentley’s Director of Motorsport Brian Gush comments:
“After completing development and endurance testing on a variety of race tracks around Europe since we unveiled the car at Goodwood in July, we’re confident that the Continental GT3 is prepared for its first test race. While the development work never stops, we feel ready to take on the competition for the first time in Abu Dhabi.
“I’m delighted with our driver selection, and in Guy, Steven and Andy we have world-class talent. All at Team M-Sport Bentley are thrilled to be racing next month.”
As a Bentley Boy since 2001, Guy Smith took the chequered flag at the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Bentley Speed 8 and in so doing returned Bentley to the top step of the Le Mans podium for first time in over 70 years. Since his successes with Team Bentley, Guy has continued an impressive career including a return to Le Mans in 2004 with Audi which saw him take 2nd place, after finishing 3rd at the Sebring 12 Hours. In 2005, Guy joined Dyson Racing in the US, competing in the ALMS. Guy and Dyson claimed the ALMS titles in 2011, followed by finishing a very close second in the championship in 2012.
Northern-Irishman Steven Kane is a former Porsche Carrera Cup, British Touring Car, ALMS and Grand-Am driver. His wealth of experience across different classes and race series has shaped Steven in to a highly adaptable racer, proved with a successful season this year in the Blancpain Endurance Series. Joining Team M-Sport Bentley for the rest of 2013 and the 2014 season, Steven brings recent GT3 experience that has proved invaluable in pushing the development of the Continental GT3.
Andy Meyrick has known Bentley all his life, growing up a matter of miles from the Crewe factory. His career includes seasons in Le Mans Prototype (LMP) competition, in both LMP1 and LMP2, including racing at the Le Mans 24 Hours. In 2012 Andy competed in the Porsche Carrera Cup, finishing on the podium in his first race, and this year has split his time between racing the ground-breaking DeltaWing in ALMS and competing in the Blancpain Endurance Series.