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KANE: Nürburgring Debrief

Steven Kane files his latest Sportscar365 column following Blancpain GT race…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

This is definitely the busiest time of the year for me and the Bentley M-Sport team.

No sooner had we completed the Paul Ricard Blancpain Endurance round then we were back on the road for the Nurburgring sprint race event last weekend.

It was actually a bit of a triple-header, because as soon as we were done in Germany we hopped across the border to Spa for the official test day ahead of the Total 24 Hours of Spa.

Nurburgring was a tough one. We turned up there knowing that it probably wouldn’t be our best circuit in terms of suiting our package. It was the short version of the track because we were sharing it with the FIA European Truck Championship.

Those trucking guys are crazy and quite impressive too, but the rough and tumble, mixed with the fluids, diesel and god knows what else they spew out, makes the track fairly tricky to get grip on.

I think we particularly suffered with this and finding the best grip level in qualifying. As a result we lined up only 27th on the grid for the qualifying race on Saturday.

I started the race and was able to make some really good progress up to 13th from our lowly starting place and the No. 7 Bentley Continental GT3 felt really good.

Vincent (Abril) then got in to the car and got up to 11th but we soon got penalized for an unsafe release from the pit stop when Vincent took over. Ultimately we got pushed back to 22nd.

The main Race on Sunday saw Vincent start and he made some really good progress and was one of the quickest on the track, setting purple sectors, but then he had some contact at the last corner which unfortunately bent the steering and it was all over.

Of course, it was disappointing to come away with no points but we showed some flashes of great speed. With luck on our side, and without being compromised in qualifying, we know we can be right at the front. It will come eventually.

From Nurburgring I went straight to Spa on Monday for the test day in readiness for the big weekend at the end of the month. We had a productive day and I think we will be in good shape.

This is Bentley’s third go at the big one and we are more determined than ever to come away with a special result at the biggest and best race of the season.

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