Spa 2014 – Bentley GT3 proves itself as a 24 hour performer
Despite a difficult start, Bentley’s GT3 proved its endurance credentials at the 2014 Total 24 Hours of Spa this weekend. Contact in the early stages of the race meant early and un-scheduled pit stops for both cars resulting in a spirited fight back from P50 and P55 with Bentley GT3#7 driven by Guy Smith, Andy Meyrick and Steven Kane finish P13, while the #8 car of Jérôme D’Ambrosio, Duncan Tappy and Antoine Leclerc crossed the line in P17 with car 7 securing three valuable points in the Endurance series driver’s championships. This was the first 24 hour outing for the GT3 and the new car’s reliability was proved with the only problems experienced coming from racing contact and debris.
Rolf Frech, Bentley Board Member for Engineering commented:
“I’m satisfied with our performance here this weekend as it was the first time a Continental GT3 has had to endure such extreme racing. For both cars to finish successfully is a credit to the skill and teamwork on display within Bentley Motorsport. We’ve gathered a lot of data, and know that we have work to do to ultimately be at the level we target – but this is a good first 24-hour result and one that we can build on in the future. The last round of the Blancpain Endurance Series will be at the Nürburgring, and the drivers of car #7 are very much in contention for the drivers’ championship – which would be an amazing achievement in our first year. This is a new team, and the performance of everyone from the drivers, to the race engineers, to the mechanics, has been extremely encouraging. I’m already looking forward to our next 24-hour challenge.”
Bentley driver Guy Smith reflects:
“Even though this was a very hard race, I’m proud of what we’ve achieved here this weekend. While we’ve done long endurance tests, you can’t recreate a race environment and so this was the sternest test of our GT3 car yet. To have two cars finish well, with no self-inflicted failures, is fantastic. Both our car and car #8 were really unlucky in the opening couple of hours, but we knuckled down overnight and showed the long-distance pace of the Bentley. I think we’ve proved that the Continental GT3 is a worthy Bentley racecar, and we’ll learn from this race and this result to aim even higher next time.”
The last race of the season is the 1000 km event at the Nürburgring over the weekend of 20th-21st September, where the championships will be decided.
Discover the new Bentley GT3-R Continental at H.R. Owen.