Bentley Motorsport has announced its GT3 racing plans for next year with Bentley Team M-Sport, which includes a four-car effort in the 2019 Spa 24 Hours Pro class.
Through the season, M-Sport will enter both the full Blancpain Endurance Cup and Intercontinental GT Challenge, with two cars apiece, adding an extra pair of second-generation Continental GT3s at Spa with drivers that will be announced in the coming weeks.
For the 2019 programme, all six of the Bentley Motorsport works team racing drivers have been retained. Vincent Abril, Jules Gounon, Steven Kane, Jordan Pepper, Andy Soucek and Maxime Soulet will once again compete for Bentley Team M-Sport, as well as being available for Bentley’s global teams to utilise.
The six full season men will crew their regular cars at Spa with the remaining two crews to be confirmed but the intention is that all four will run talent sufficient to contest for overall honours.
“From the start of our GT3 programme, the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup has provided an ideal platform for us to demonstrate the performance of our cars and develop them for our customers to race around the world. The Intercontinental GT Challenge allows us to extend our programme outside of Europe, which is vital to reflect the global presence of our brand,” said Bentley’s director of motorsport, Brian Gush.
“I’m pleased that we’ve retained all of our six works team drivers for 2019, and we will run at least one car at the 24 Hours of Spa with the top drivers promoted from our global customer team programme. Once these are confirmed, we will look at our options for the fourth car. The most important thing for us as a brand is that we have four driver teams capable of winning the race.
“As in previous years, Bentley Team M-Sport drivers will be available to our customer teams in 2019. So far, they have supported our teams racing in Super GT, Pirelli World Challenge, the British GT Championship, GT Masters and the Blancpain GT Series Asia, sharing valuable experience and knowledge.”
Notably there is no mention of the Nürburgring 24 Hours in the announcement of the factory-backed efforts plans. Whilst a later decision and announcement is not being counted out it is understood by DSC not to be close to confirmation at present.