Bentley will shift its end-of-year factory effort in Asia from Abu Dhabi to Malaysia, with the British manufacturer having confirmed to Sportscar365 a two-car program for the 12 Hours of Sepang on Dec. 11-13.
The race, which will be under the promotion of SRO Motorsports Group for the first time, takes place the same weekend as the Gulf 12 Hours, an event which the M-Sport squad had initially announced its participation in.
“It’s market-related,” Bentley’s Director of Motorsport Brian Gush told Sportscar365 of the reason for the switch. “We’re here to sell road cars as well and the racing helps that. Our dealers leverage this program very well.
“Asia is a big market for us and a really important market for us. To have something like this there would be good for us.”
The team’s driver lineup has yet to be announced for Sepang, although it’s expected to feature a similar mix of factory pilots utilized in M-Sport’s endurance race programs this year, which has included debut outings in the Bathurst 12 Hour and Nürburgring 24.
A staple in the Malaysian motorsports scene, the Sepang 12 Hours been moved from its traditional August date to the end of the year for logistical reasons, with the target of attracting more international entries.
Gush said he’s hopeful of seeing involvement from Bentley Team HTP in Malaysia as well, with Belgian Audi Club Team WRT also having expressed interest to field its new Audi R8 LMS cars in the race.
Entries for the event, open to GT3, GTC, GT4 and Touring Production machinery, close on Oct. 1.