Bentley has named the first three members of its Bentley Motorsport Academy after an assessment in December to choose who will compete in the GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS this year.
Euan McKay, Frank Bird and Nicolai Kjaergaard will drive a Team Parker-entered Bentley Continental GT3 in the five GTWC Europe Endurance Cup races as part of Bentley’s new young driver initiative.
Six drivers were chosen for assessment at Portimao in December, including track time in the Continental GT3 and off-track evaluations.
McKay, 24, has recently competed in the GT4 European Series, while Bird and Kjaergaard, both 20, move to GT3 racing from single-seater careers in the F4 British Championship, BRDC British F3 Championship and Euroformula Open.
In addition, Pierre-Alexandre Jean will also gain experience in the Academy’s training program but will not compete in the Team Parker Car.
The 18-year-old Frenchman was previously confirmed at CMR in another customer Bentley for the upcoming GTWC Europe season.
“Team Parker Racing gave us feedback of all six drivers based on how they were on track and how they worked with the team and all were strong candidates,” said Bentley Motorsport director Paul Williams.
“We then discussed which drivers we felt had the potential to become a Bentley works team racer one day and then which of those were ready for the challenge right now.
“This left us with our three GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Silver Cup drivers and inaugural Bentley Motorsport Academy squad.
”We thought that was ‘job done’ but then Pierre-Alexandre came along and we were impressed with his professionalism and approach.
“Although he won’t be in the Team Parker Racing Silver Cup Continental GT3, we have invited him to join the Bentley Motorsport Academy and benefit from the training schedule we have planned.”