2017 British GT title-winning outfit Team Parker Racing will represent Bentley in this year’s Blancpain GT Sprint Cup with a Continental GT3 for all five rounds.
The entry, which is eligible for the Silver Cup, will be driven by Josh Caygill, who has previous experience in the Endurance Cup, and Árón Taylor-Smith, a BTCC regular, both of whom will be making their first appearances in a Bentley and for Team Parker Racing.
“We’ve already enjoyed a very productive two-day test at Navarra where I got to know the team and Árón, and also sampled the Continental GT3 for the first time,” Caygill. “There’s a really good atmosphere within the team, which is very positive and I am sure we are going to have a great year. Both myself and Árón are already working well together; it’s great to have such a competitive team-mate that you can push and measure yourself against.
“I was also blown away with the Bentley and how comfortable I felt driving it from day one. I know from first-hand experience how competitive the Blancpain GT Series is, but I’m also looking forward to the shorter Sprint races where it’s even more cut and thrust than Endurance. Árón’s BTCC background is well suited to that style of racing, while my recent touring car experience should also prove useful.”
This programme marks a return to the Blancpain GT Series for Team Parker, which in the past has raced in the Endurance Cup with Audi and later Bentley. It’s last Endurance Cup effort was back in 2016 (pictured above), when it raced with a pair of Continental GT3s. This run, it’s first in the Sprint Cup, will run alongside its confirmed British GT programme for this season.
Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush also confirmed as part of the announcement that M-Sport will not contest any Sprint Cup rounds this year, while it focuses on developing the new-for-2018 Continental.
“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,” he said. “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.”
The 2018 Blancpain Sprint Cup season kicks off at Zolder in Belgium on April 6-8.