The Bentley Team M-Sport #8 Continental GT3 marks a milestone in Bentley’s history books today as it takes the model’s 500th race start at the largest GT3 endurance race in the world, the 24 Hours of Spa.
The third chapter of Bentley’s motorsport story began with the unveiling of the first Continental GT3 concept at the Paris Motor Show in 2012, followed by the first public running of the first test car at Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2013. Since then the Continental GT3 has celebrated series and race wins around the globe, with the most recent victories in the past month in Blancpain GT Series at Paul Ricard 1000kms, Pirelli World Challenge at Road America and British GT at Spa Francorchamps.
Most notably, the 4.0-litre twin turbocharged race-prepared Continental, based on the most successful car in Bentley’s history, has won the Blancpain Sprint Series Cup and GT Asia team championship; has been victorious in high-profile GT races in America, Europe and Asia; and has scored podiums in the toughest GT race in Australia, Bathurst 12 Hours.
“The Continental GT3 is the car that brought Bentley back to motorsport after an absence of a decade. In the four seasons of competition since, the car has earned a global fan base and has brought dozens of trophies home”, comments Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush.
“Standing on the podium at Blancpain GT Series at Silverstone in 2014 after our maiden win in only the car’s third race is a moment none of us will forget.
“We’ve had some great successes since that first victory; seeing Vince Abril and Maxi Buhk win Sprint Series Cup; watching Bentley Team Absolute take the GT Asia championship in the final race; supporting Team Parker Racing as they battle for the British GT Championship with dominant wins along the way; and now standing here at Spa-Francorchamps fighting for success through Bentley Team M-Sport and Bentley Team Abt.
“We’re a small team with big ambition, and to see what everyone has achieved so far is inspirational. We continue to grow and to learn and we’ll utilise our experience over the last years to make the next 500 races even more successful.”
The #8 Continental GT3 will start from fourteenth on the grid for the 24 Hours of Spa and will be followed by #9 in sixteeth and #7 in seventeeth.