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Historical Racing

Bentley was founded by a motorsport enthusiast and many of the company's first customers were enthusiasts. The cars were raced successfully, earning a reputation after winning by large margins in early races. After the company ran out of cash and was acquired by Rolls-Royce, Bentley cars wouldn't be raced against for 70 years.

Indianapolis 500

Le Mans

Bentley Boys

Modern Racing

Le Mans

Bentley jumped back into motorsport in the 2001 with the Speed 8 car that was campaigned at Le Mans. After two tries at Le Mans, Bentley Speed 8's took 1st and 2nd place at the 2003 24 of Le Mans.

Shortly after, Bentley announced they would once again leave Le Mans.

Said chairman and CEO Franz-Josef Paefgen: “Le Mans is part of our rich heritage and is very important to us. It has also helped us revive the unique spirit of Bentley and it has created a new motorsport heritage for the marque, but when we announced our return in November 2000 we always said this would be a three year programme. In the past three Le Mans we have been more successful than we could have dreamed, culminating in first and second places for the Bentley Speed 8 at this most famous of races this year. This has provided an excellent boost for our image and a successful communications platform for the introduction of the Continental GT, which has been launched to great acclaim.”

He continued: “I’m not saying we are leaving motorsport for good, and we will certainly continue to review our position. But being pragmatic, all our efforts need to be concentrated on the next phase of our regeneration, and our priority is delivering a new range of Bentleys to our rapidly expanding customer base.“

GT Racing

In 2013, Bentley announced the Continental GT3, a racing version of the Continental GT. The GT3 differed from the road car significantly in a couple key ways that would make it very competitive. Engineers relocated the custom 600hp 4.0l twin-turbo V8 lower and rearward versus the road car. They were also able to remove 1000kg from the car.

The Continental GT3 was developed by M-Sport to FIA GT3 specifications. Continental GT3's steering wheel, door pulls and seat were built in Crewe plant. The construction and setup of the race cars is finished by M-Sport in Bentley's Motorsport Division.

After FIA homologation, the car entered its first race at Gulf 12 Hours at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. Team M-Sport Wald International Continental GT3 completed its inaugural race in fourth place.5)

Bentley added three partners for 2014, fielding cars in Asia, Europe and North America. The Continental GT3 competed in a full season of the Blancpain Endurance Series and half of the Pirelli World Challenge.

The Continental GT3 racing program continued to grow in 2015 with four factory supported teams and at least two customer teams. Bentley also began opening up sales of the GT3 to customers, stating that they would ideally like to see 30 cars competing in race series around the world.6) As of Fall 2015, Bentley Motorsport and their partner M-Sport had constructed 18 Continental GT3s.

Notable 2014 Race Events

Bentley M-Sport (Works Cars) competed in a full schedule with the Blancpain GT Endurance Series.

Dyson Racing competed in the last half of the Pirelli World Challenge sprint series. Butch Leitzinger drove every event for Dyson with Guy Smith joining in a second car for a race.

Absolute Racing entered two races in Asia.

In June 2014, Bentley announced their intention to campaign at the Nürburgring 24Hr endurance race in 2015. 7)

Notable 2015 Race Events

Team Bentley M-Sport (Works Cars) Team Bentley campaigned two cars, numbered 7 and 8, in the Blancpain GT Endurance Series.

HTP Motorsport campaigned five cars, numbered 7, 8, 83, 84, and 85, in the ADAC GT Masters, the VLN championship, and the Blancpain Sprint Championship. The also had the best finish of any Bentley in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring and Spa.

Dyson Racing campaigned two cars, numbered 16 and 20, in the Pirelli World Challenge.

Absolute Racing has three cars in the GT Asia series8)

Current customer cars are being raced in the British GT Championship and by Flying B Racing of Australia.

24 Hours of Nürburgring - Bentley and M-Sport entered two cars in the 2015 24 Hours of Nürburgring, the #84 Continental GT3 in standard white livery, and the #85 in Tulsi Green in honor of their 2003 Le Mans winning Bentley Speed 8. The two factory cars were jointed by the #11 Continental GT3 from HTP Motorsport in the white livery.

The #85 car was damaged early in the race after being hit from behind and run off the track. After several hours of repair, it was able rejoin the race and climbed back to finish 72nd. The #84 car was running very well until it spun during the night. The car sustained enough damage to its front end that it was forced to withdraw from the race. The #11 car finished 8th overall after a consistent performance throughout the 24 hour event.9)

Blancpain Sprint Series
In 2015, Bentley would win their first major racing championship with the Continental GT3 when Bentley Team HTP Motorsport drivers Vincent Abril and Maxi Buhk won the Blancpain Sprint Series Drivers Championship in Europe.

GT Asia
Absolute Racing's Adderly Fong and Ketia Sawa won the Drivers Championship.

Notable 2016 Race Events

For 2016, Bentley updated the Continental GT3 cosmetically with a new white and green livery that echoes the Union Jack in its design. The car also gained bits from the 2016 Continental GT road car, which was refreshed for '16. Details included the Flying B vent on the front fender and a redesigned trunk lid.

Bentley M-Sport (Works Cars) will campaign two cars, numbered 7 and 8, in the Blancpain GT Endurance Series.

Absolute Racing has three cars in the GT Asia series and two cars for the Pirelli World Challenge.

Abt Sportsline: ADAC GT Masters and Nürburgring 24 Hours

Parker Racing: Blancpain Sprint Series and British GT Championship

motorsports.txt · Last modified: 2016/04/02 10:39 by pursuingwo



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