Bentley has confirmed its six-man driver lineup for next month’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, which will mark the debut of the Continental GT3 in Australia.
The British M-Sport outfit will enter two factory Bentleys, with Guy Smith, Steven Kane, Andy Soucek and Maximilian Buhk being joined by Silver-rated drivers Matt Bell and Harold Primat.
The Bathurst 12 Hour is the first race in a busy 2015 schedule for Bentley Motorsport.
Three works-supported teams will race the Continental GT3 in five series around the world, while the factory team competes in the Blancpain Endurance Series and the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
“The whole team is full of anxious excitement about the start of the season,” said Bentley’s director of motorsport Brian Gush. “Opening the schedule at Bathurst is certainly a daunting challenge, but our preparation over the winter has been thorough and the cars and drivers are ready.
“The Continental GT3 can do well at Mount Panorama, and if we can set the car up effectively then we should be able to have a good race.
“The Bathurst 12 Hour is becoming one of the great endurance races in the world and I’m delighted that we’re going to compete there for the first time.”
Smith and Kane will be joined in the No. 10 Continental GT3 by fellow British driver Bell, who will race with Bentley after previously competing with Kane in the 2013 Blancpain Endurance Season.
“Bathurst is a really exciting new challenge both for the car and for us as drivers,” Kane said. “You have to be incredibly precise over the top of the mountain, but the Bentley is so poised that we should be able to attack.
“I’m also really looking forward to racing with Matt again and I think we stand a good chance of a strong finish.”
In the No. 11 sister car, newly-signed Bentley Motorsport drivers Soucek and Buhk will partner with experienced GT3 racer Primat who, like Buhk, also races for Bentley’s new European works-supported operation, Bentley Team HTP.
The Bathurst 12 Hour will be the first race in the Continental GT3 for all three drivers.
“After the winter break, we’re definitely ready to go racing again,” Buhk said. “Making the switch to the Bentley is really exciting, and we want to start at Bathurst as we mean to go on this season – by looking after the car, racing hard and finishing well.
“Harold and I finished second here last year in a really close finish, so naturally we’d love to go one better this year.”