Bentley Motorsport entered the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup finale this weekend with three Continental GT3s, and finished in third place overall with the #107 car and drivers Jordan Pepper (ZAF), Steven Kane (GBR) and Jules Gounon (FRA).
The three-hour race at the Circuit de Cataluyna near Barcelona, Spain was the final round of the 2019 Blancpain GT Series and Bentley’s new Director of Motorsport Paul Williams was aiming to “end the season on a high”. With the Bentley Team M-Sport Pro class cars qualifying in P12 and P15 there was a lot of work to do to meet this objective, but the team used good strategy and fast and reliable driving to climb through the ranks in the safety car-marred race.
On the penultimate lap, with Gounon in a gripping battling for fourth, a podium looked unlikely, until the pressure caused the second and third placed cars to crash into each other and the #107 car crossed the line in third place.
Luck was not on the side of the #108 car and drivers Callum Macleod (GBR), Maxime Soulet (BEL) and local racer Andy Soucek (ESP), however, and, while running inside the top-ten, they were tapped into a spin by another competitor. They had to settle for 29thplace
The third in the brace of Bentleys was the #31 Team Parker Racing machine, in which Seb Morris (GBR) and Derek Pierce (GBR) were aiming to take a podium between them. Despite high temperatures and a chaotic race, they managed to take the lead of the Pro-Am class in the final hour, but it was not to be, and they crossed the line in fourth place in class.
Paul Williams, Bentley Director of Motorsport, said: “With two laps to go I was starting to think that the podium was just out of reach, which was a real shame after how hard the team and drivers had battled. Of course, luck played its role, but I think the team deserved this podium result today – they really got the most out of the package we had on the day.
“Team Parker Racing put on a really strong display all weekend, so it was a shame to just miss the podium. To take on a challenge like this, in this heat, with just two drivers is very impressive and I think the drivers can both be proud of their performances and fourth place result.
“That’s the Blancpain GT Series season finished but we still have one race to go in the Intercontinental GT Challenge. The Kyalami 9 Hours will be my home race so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do there with our pair of Bentley Team M-Sport Continental GT3s.”
Kyalami 9 Hours, the final round of the 2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge will take place on 21 November at the Kyalami Racing Circuit in South Africa. Bentley Motorsport will field two Continental GT3s with Bentley Team M-Sport.