Journalist, Top Gear presenter, and YouTube star, Chris Harris, is joining Bentley Team Parker Racing for this season’s Blancpain Endurance Series. He will be in the team’s Bentley Continental GT3 this weekend at Monza competing in the amateur category. The car is one of four that Parker is entering int he Blancpain series that includes the famous Spa 24 Hours.
Harris is an accomplished driver, known for his ability to drift just about anything with wheels. The thing is, he can scoot around a track without destroying the tires too. His video from last year’s Nürbringring 24 hour is embedded below. Harris drove an Aston Martin V12 Vantage, but his team had to withdraw after a teammate wrecked in the middle of the night.
When I heard the news, I thought of this excellent piece Harris did last year to document his go in the Aston (embedded). It would be great to see some behind the scenes from within Bentley Racing!
“This is a bit of a pinch yourself moment,” he said. “If, last year, you’d asked me what my dream 2016 race season would be it would have involved a Bentley Continental GT3, Stuart Parker and my good friend and long-time team-mate Chris Cooper. And now it’s happened!”
Harris talked about the competitive GT3 field and why he is excited to be in the Bentley. “I saw an early car being built two years ago and ever since then I’ve wanted to drive one. That I get to do it with Team Parker, a team I’ve had many successes with in the past, is fantastic news. The GT3 category is the most interesting, varied form of circuit racing out there and I think that with Chris [Cooper] and Derek Pierce we have a very good team to attack the Am championship.”
Focusing on keeping it straight and not confusing the competition for his day job, he said, “I just need to remember that the big oversteer is for the Top Gear cameras, not the race track.”
In addition to Harris in the amateur category, Bentley Team Parker Racing will also have a car in the Pro-Am class. Bentley’s works team, Bentley Team M-Sport, will field its pair of cars in the top-level Pro class.
Harris’ debut with the Bentley Continental GT3 takes place this weekend, April 24 at Monza. The race can be streamed online at www.blancpain-gt-series.com.
Most exciting to Bentley and its Motorsport Director Brian Gush, is how much having four cars across three classes increases the chances of having a Bentley on the podium. This weekend’s roster looks like this:
Car #7: Steven Kane (GB), Guy Smith (GB) and Vince Abril (MO)
Car #8: Andy Soucek (ES), Maxime Soulet (BE) and Wolfgang Reip (BE)
Car #24: Tom Onslow-Cole (GB), Callum Macloed (GB) and Ian Loggie (GB)
Car #30: Chris Harris (GB), Chris O’Connor (GB) and Derek Pierce (GB)