Bentley Motorsport has revealed its driver crews for the upcoming California 8 Hours, the second round of the 2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge held at Laguna Seca on the 30th of March.
While the team’s #107 Continental GT3 will run with the same line-up it did at the opening round at Bathurst, Steven Kane, Jordan Pepper and Jules Gounon, the #108 will compete with two drivers new to the Bentley brand.
Former Nissan factory driver Lucas Ordóñez, winner of the inaugural GT Academy, will race with Markus Palttala, a regular in IMSA and with the Marc VDS BMW team. Both will make their Bentley debuts at the event, and race with Bentley factory driver Maxime Soulet.
The new duo will treat the race in California as a dress rehearsal for the Spa 24 Hours in July. Both are confirmed as part of Bentley’s expanded four-car Pro class effort.
Ordóñez said: “Racing for a legendary brand such as Bentley is undoubtedly a privilege, even more so in its centenary year.
“Making my debut at Laguna Seca, a circuit that is steeped in so much history will just make this experience even more exciting, and I am looking forward to working with the fantastic Bentley team and my fellow drivers to try to deliver the best result.”
After finishing sixth and 12 place in last year’s California 8 Hours, Bentley’s motorsport director Brian Gush feels confident that better results can be achieved in 2019, and that his new drivers will get up to speed quickly.
“Last year’s campaign was largely developmental, but now it is time to really step up our game. Success is an expectation rather than hope, so we want to be fighting for wins at every round,” he said.
“I am confident that both Lucas and Markus will settle into the challenge ahead. Giving each of our driver’s solid race time behind the wheel is essential, and Laguna Seca is an ideal venue to start that process.
“At the same time, we’re looking forward to engaging with our US Bentley fanbase and showing them up-close the performance that this latest generation GT3 is already becoming known for.”
Featured image courtesy of Bentley