Bentley Team M-Sport has confirmed the signing of Wolfgang Reip for the 2016 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, while also announcing the lineups for its expansion into the Sprint Cup.
Reip tested the Bentley Continental GT3 for the first time during the official Blancpain GT Series test days at Paul Ricard earlier this month.
“When you’re looking for a new works team driver, you naturally look at your toughest competition,” said Bentley’s Director of Motorsport Brian Gush.
“For the last two seasons we have enjoyed some really close battles with Wolfgang so we invited him along to test with us. We were very impressed and we’re pleased to welcome him as our latest Bentley Boy.”
The 2015 Blancpain Endurance champion replaces Maxi Buhk in the No. 8 factory entered Continental GT3, where he’ll team with fellow countryman Maxime Soulet and Andy Soucek for the Endurance Cup and the Sepang 12 Hours Intercontinental GT Challenge finale.
“It’s a very good position to be in a team and a car that is able to win the championship,” Reip told Sportscar365.
“After finishing second the last two seasons, now they really want to win it.”
As previously confirmed, Vincent Abril was promoted from a customer team driver to full works status. The 2015 Blancpain Sprint champion will join the No. 7 car with Guy Smith and Steven Kane in the Endurance Cup.
Abril will also defend his Sprint title with Kane, while Soucek and Soulet are entered in the No. 8 Continental GT3 for the five-round Sprint Cup.
Bentley Team M-Sport’s expansion into the Sprint Cup makes it eligible for the overall Blancpain GT Series crown.