Bentley Team ABT will run a pair of Bentley Continental GT3s in May’s Nürburgring 24, with a combination of new and returning drivers, it was announced on Tuesday.
Chris Brueck, Christer Joens and Christian Menzel will return having competed with the team in last year’s running of the N24, and they will be joined by Bentley’s ADAC GT Masters graduate Jordan Pepper and two new drivers to the team.
The newcomers are Nico Verdonck and Christian Mamerow, who complete Bentley’s six-driver lineup for the 24-hour race, held on May 27-28.
GT regular Verdonck joins Bentley and returns to the SP9 category having competed in last year’s N24 in a PROsport Performance Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
“Driving with Bentley is an honor and I’m very proud to be associated with this iconic brand,” he said.
“I’m extremely motivated to work with Bentley Team ABT and believe that the combination of the team and the Continental GT3 will lead to great success on track.”
Mamerow participated in last year’s race and several VLN events at the “Green Hell” in an Audi R8 LMS run by Twin Busch Motorsport.
The 31-year-old German also claimed the N24 outright victory in 2014, in a Phoenix Racing-run Audi R8 LMS ultra.
“I’m really excited to represent Bentley and the Team ABT at the Nürburgring Nordschleife,” he said.
“I know how hard it is and how much team effort it takes to win the 24-hour race and a dream would come true if I could win it again after my first win in 2014.”
Meanwhile, 20-year-old South African driver Pepper continues with Bentley having competed with the brand in GT Masters last season.
This will be the 2014 Volkswagen Scirocco R Cup champion’s first attempt at a twice-around-the-clock endurance race.
“It has always been a dream of mine to compete in a 24-hour race,” he said. “To be competing at the Nürburgring in a Bentley Continental GT3, with such an experienced team and teammates, and factory support from Bentley, is the best opportunity in the world.
“The hard work starts now, since I have a lot to learn in a short space of time, but I have the right people around me to make sure I can do the best job possible.”
The two Team ABT Bentleys will also take part in the first two rounds of the VLN Series, as well as the Nürburgring 24 Hours qualifying race.
“Last year, in just our second attempt at Nürburgring 24 Hours, we finished in seventh place, which was well inside our top-ten target,” said Brian Gush, Bentley director of motorsport.
“This year, we aim to go even higher and we are in good position to do so thanks to the strong working relationship between ABT Sportsline and Bentley Motorsport.
“We are pleased to see that ABT Sportsline has retained some of the 2016 squad, while adding three very competent drivers and we look forward to working with them this season.”