M-Sport Bentley has recorded a stunning Blancpain Endurance Series win at Silverstone in what was only the second competition event for the new Continental GT3 race car.
Bentley No. 7 was in seventh place after a drive-through penalty, but in the last fifteen minutes of the three-hour endurance run, the team managed to pull off some spectacularly good driving to push into the lead, edging out McLaren No. 99 for the checkered flag.
“That was a hard-fought race,” said Bentley Director of Motorsport Brian Gush. “When Guy took the drive-through penalty in the first hour, we knew we had the pace to get back on the podium, and we were determined to do so. The car was very strong, the drivers were impeccable and the pit stop crew recorded their best ever times – including their practices over the last month! The Continental GT3’s strength is in long, fast corners, and our pace here will hopefully translate in to good speed at the other rounds of the championship. In the meantime, a maiden victory at the home of British motorsport feels fantastic.”
The final, and winning stint, for Bentley No. 7 was by Steven Kane, whose co-drivers Guy Smith and Andy Meyrick were responsible for keeping the car in contention for the lead up to that final fifteen minutes.
“Today has been epic,” said Kane. “We didn’t get any real dry running done yesterday because of the weather, so we were relieved when we set good times in qualifying this morning. In the race, the car was fantastic, especially with how well it looked after its tyres. That gave me the grip and traction I needed to take the lead in to Brooklands, and after that we knew we could hold first place. Standing on the top step of the podium with Guy and Andy was a very, very special moment and I now know I can call myself a true Bentley Boy.”
The second M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 of Jérôme D’Ambrosio, Duncan Tappy and Antoine Leclerc had a tougher afternoon. Starting from P14, Jérôme was hit by another car and forced off the track on the third lap, sustaining a puncture. The ensuing pit stop dropped the #8 Bentley to 42nd place, but over the rest of the race the car was able to recover to finish in 15th – a great result given the poor start.