Bentley Motors has announced that its long-standing motorsport director Brian Gush will be leaving the brand, and replaced by Paul Williams.
Gush has enjoyed a lengthy stint at the top of Bentley’s motorsport division, leaving after 20 years of service. His career with the British marque will come to an end on August 1st.
He joined Bentley in 1999 as director of chassis, powertrain and motorsport and since then has set about transforming Bentley’s engines and returning the brand to its motorsport heritage not once, but twice.
He led the re-engineering of Bentley’s iconic 6¾-litre V8, returning it to production and developing it to both meet the latest emissions standard and deliver more than 1,000 Nm of torque. He also led the development of the W12 engine and the chassis for the first- and second-generation Continental GT and delivered the chassis and powertrain for Her Majesty The Queen’s Bentley State Limousine.
Gush also took Bentley racing in 2001 after a 70-year absence. The highlight was, of course, its 1-2 finish at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2003, scoring the marque its sixth win at the world-famous race.
Following on from its prototype programme in the early 00s, Gush has focused on building a GT3 programme with the Continental since 2012.
The current Continental GT3 is the car that will give Gush his send-off at the upcoming 24 Hours of Spa, with five examples, four in Pro and one in Pro-Am gunning for glory in Belgium.
“My time at Bentley has been the highlight of my career,” said Gush.
“Bentley afforded me the opportunity to help deliver a car to Her Majesty the Queen while also winning the Le Mans 24 Hours, and surely it’s the only brand in the world that could combine those two challenges.
“I will always have fond memories of the teams I have worked with and the success we shared. I wish Paul the best of luck – he will undoubtedly take Bentley Motorsport to the next level.”
Gush leaves Bentley on 1st August, to retire to spend more time with his wife Ginnie and tend to his 1966 Lotus Elan S2, collection of classic British motorbikes and a 1970 Mk1 Escort rally car project.
Williams will go on to replace Gush. He joined Bentley in 2008 and will take up his role in the motorsport division after spending time as its director of the powertrain.
During his time in the role, Williams oversaw the design and development of the all-new 6.0-litre W12 engine that powers the Bentayga, Continental GT and new Flying Spur, along with the second generation of Bentley’s 4.0-litre V8 engine that also powers the Continental GT3. His successor in that role will be announced in due course, with Williams retaining his current responsibilities until a replacement is appointed.
“Running Bentley’s motorsport division will be a hugely exciting new chapter in my career. I’ve been a dedicated follower of our race team since its return to the track in 2013, and have been watching with pride as our second-generation Continental GT3 has racked up the victories so far this year.
“Succeeding Brian Gush is no small task, and my first job is to maintain the winning momentum that he and the team have generated this year. I can’t wait to get started.”
Member of the Board for Engineering, Werner Tietz, concluded:
“Paul has been an outstanding member of our engineering team for more than 10 years, and as our powertrain expert, he is well placed to take on Bentley Motorsport, where his V8 engine faces its toughest tests. He has a passion for racing and he will take our motorsport team from strength to strength.
“On behalf of Bentley Motors I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the loyal and dedicated service of Brian Gush for the last two decades, and wish him a happy and relaxing retirement.”