Bentley’s Works team is off to a great start in 2016. For the third time this season, they’ve made the podium in a hyper-competitive GT3 field.
Bentley Team M-Sport, Bentley’s official factory supported team (nicknamed ‘Works’), was competing this past weekend at Brands Hatch in the U.K. The Works team had two entries in the Blancpain GT event. The #7 Bentley Continental GT3 was driven by veteran Steven Kane and new Bentley Boy, Vincent Abril. The #8 Bentley was driven by Andy Soucek and Maxime Soulet.
The #7 car qualified 13th for the main race and would finish 8th in an interesting race. The #8 car qualified 24th for the qualifying race, which preceded the main event. From that starting spot, the duo climbed up to 18th spot before pitting. A lightning quick driver change with Soulet replacing Soucek, gained the team six more spots. The Bentley Team M-Sport crew would be award the Pitstop Challenge award for the stop.
Soucek and Soulet ended up finishing the qualifying race in fifth place. In the main race, Soulet in the #8 got off to a great start in the sprint style event, which is only one hour in length and features a driver change around the halfway point. Soucek would emerge from the pits for the second stint of the race and drive to the team’s third podium of the year.
“When you start off a weekend in a less than ideal position its very easy for a team to lose motivation,” said Bentley’s Director of Motorsport Brian Gush.
Commenting on the weekend, Soucek said, “It all came together this weekend. Qualifying wasn’t great but our qualifying race went well and we got into the top ten. The team did a great job in the pits to jump us six places and they won the award for the fastest stop, which is a fantastic recognition for the crew. The man of the weekend has to be Maxime, he did a mega job to make some great passes – something that isn’t easy to do here at Brands Hatch.”
Bentley Team M-Sport will race in the second of two home races in the Blancpain GT Series calendar next weekend, as the championship heads to Silverstone for the second race in the Blancpain Endurance Cup.