- Bentley Motorsport wins its debut Blancpain Sprint Series Cup race
- The qualifying race result put car #8 on pole for the main race
- Main race podium prevented by avoidable contact from competitor
Misano, 13-Apr-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — Bentley Motorsport’s works team made its Blancpain Sprint Series Cup debut at Misano, this weekend, and won the first race of the event, putting the #8 Bentley Team M-Sport Continental GT3 on pole for Sunday’s main competition.
Andy Soucek (ES) and Maxime Soulet (BE) chose to start Saturday’s one-hour night race on slick tyres, while all but one of the other 38 competitors started on wets, a decision that ultimately won Bentley Team M-Sport its debut Sprint Series Cup race.
The victory secured pole position for main race and handed Bentley eight valuable points towards the Blancpain GT Series and Blancpain Sprint Series Cup titles.
Sunday’s main race was not so fortuitous for the British team. Running in third place, the #8 Continental GT3 of Soulet was tapped from behind and sent spinning. An hour later, following a valiant charge, Soucek crossed the line in P11.
The #7 Continental GT3 of Steven Kane (GB) and defending Sprint Series Cup champion Vince Abril (MO) started the main one-hour race from P20 and finished in P17.
“We struggled to match the qualifying pace, so we knew we had to rely on strategy to get a result in the races,” commented Bentley’s Director of Motorsport Brian Gush. “We took a gamble with tyres with car number eight and it paid off. We would have liked to have come away with more points but, given the circumstances this weekend, I think we did the best job we could.”
The Blancpain GT Series continues at Monza in a fortnight for the first of five endurance races. Bentley Team M-Sport will continue with its two Continental GT3s and the drivers will be joined by Guy Smith (GB) and Wolfgang Reip (BE).
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Andy Soucek, car #8: “Before the start, Maxime looked at me and said ‘are you sure we should start on slicks?’. I said I wasn’t sure at all but that I was willing to take the gamble! He agreed and it was clearly the right choice. The team at M-Sport did a fantastic job to put us on pole for the main race.”
Maxime Soulet, car #8: “When you are fighting in the top three and you are taken out of the race it is very frustrating but these things happen in racing. Andy and I got the most our of our car this weekend and were rewarded with a result that took a lot of hardwork and guts from the entire team.”
Notes to editors
- Bentley Motorsport is based at the Bentley Motors headquarters in Crewe. From there, the operation runs Bentley Team M-Sport, and oversees three Works-supported teams around the world.
- The Continental GT3 is built by the Bentley motorsport team in conjunction with M-Sport. The Bentley GT3 team is led by Bentley Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush supported by M-Sport’s Chief Engineer, Christian Loriaux.
- Bentley Motors’ headquarters in Crewe is home to all of its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production of the company’s four model lines, Continental, Bentayga, Flying Spur and Mulsanne. The combination of fine craftsmanship, using skills that have been handed down through generations, alongside engineering expertise and cutting-edge technology is unique to UK luxury car brands