The Spa 24 Hours driver crews for M-Sport Team Bentley’s four Pro-Class Continental GT3s have been set with the addition of Brazilian driver Pipo Derani.
The 12 professional racing drivers representing the brand comprise five long-term works team racers; four of the world’s leading endurance drivers; and three talents promoted from Bentley’s global customer teams.
Derani, who is fresh from racing in the GTE Pro class at the Le Mans 24 Hours with Risi Competizione, joins Bentley’s attack with the hope of adding to his racing CV which includes one Daytona 24 Hours and no less than three Sebring 12 Hours wins to his name.
“I am honoured to be joining Bentley in its Centenary year,” he said. “It is a brand I have always admired and aspired to both on and off track. I tested the Continental GT3 last month and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever driven before but I got to grips with it so quickly. I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel at the test next week and I’m looking forward to battling for the 24 Hours of Spa win.”
Derani will join Spanish drivers Andy Soucek and Lucas Ordonez in car #110. The #107 line-up of Steven Kane, Jules Gounon and Jordan Pepper remains unchanged. Maxime Soulet is joined in car #108 by Alex Buncombe and Markus Palttala. And, car #109 comprises Rodrigo Baptista, Callum Macleod and Seb Morris.
With Morris moving up to the works team and Team Parker Racing requiring four racers in Pro-Am, Ryan Ratcliffe and Glynn Geddie will step-up from British GT duties to race alongside Brits Derek Pierce and former Bentley works team racer Andy Meyrick.
Bentley’s Director of Motorsport Brian Gush commented: “Bentley celebrates its 100th birthday on 19th July so it seems fitting for us, in the same month, to field four Continental GT3s capable of winning the 24 Hours of Spa outright. We’ve selected our line-up very carefully, choosing drivers who are both fast but also reliable, and we have spent the first half of the season ensuring they have had race-relevant seat time. We are very happy with our 12 drivers and we’re looking forward to fighting for the overall race win.
“Team Parker Racing has a good line-up in the Pro-Am class and we are looking forward to supporting them as they challenge for the class win. They have always been fast here, previously taking the class pole position with the first generation Continental GT3, so we hope luck is on their side when the flag drops.”
The 24 Hours of Spa takes place on Saturday 27 July – Sunday 28 July at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.