Guy Smith has announced that this weekend’s Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup race at Silverstone will be his last for Bentley Team M-Sport, after a 17-year asscociation with the brand as a factory driver which featured a Le Mans win in 2003.
After his final race with the team in the #7 with Bentley Continental GT3 this weekend, he will continue to be an ambassador for the brand, work with Bentley supporting customer teams, and take on a role as a Bentley Motorsport test and development driver. Smith’s seat in the #7 meanwhile, will be taken by South African driver Jordan Pepper for the remainder o the season.
“This was not an easy decision to make, but the time is right for me to step back and allow some younger talent in to my Bentley seat,” Smith said. “At the end of last year I decided that I wanted to see the new second-generation Continental GT3 through its first race after being part of its development from the start – and we achieved that at Monza a few weeks ago. It feels right that my final race with the team should be at Silverstone, which has been one of the most important circuits of my career.
“It’ll be an emotional race for me, but I’m hoping to be with the team at the other endurance races this year and I’m looking forward to focusing on my business projects and supporting our customer teams. I’d like to thank everyone at the outstanding operation that is Bentley Team M-Sport for all the hard work and results we’ve achieved together in GT3 over the last five years.”.
Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush, added: “I’ve been working with Guy for almost 20 years, and he’s always been the epitome of the professional racer. While we’ll all be sorry to see him step back from Bentley Team M-Sport, I’m delighted that he stays a member of the Bentley Motorsport family and that he’s taken this decision at the time that feels right for him.
“I look forward both to working with Guy in the future and to welcoming Jordan Pepper to Bentley Team M-Sport – his seat is thoroughly deserved and we are confident he will race well with his new car #7 team-mates Steven Kane and Jules Gounon.”