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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Bentley Confirms 2019 Plans; Four Works Cars for 24H Spa

Bentley to make IGTC and Blancpain GT return in 2019, with four Pro-class cars at 24H Spa…

Photo: Kevin Pecks/SRO

Bentley Team M-Sport will run four Pro-class GT3 cars in next year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa, as part of its global endurance racing program announced on Tuesday.

The British marque will return to the Intercontinental GT Challenge and Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup next year with two-car efforts in both championships.

However, unlike this year, Bentley plans to run its IGTC and Blancpain GT programs separately at Spa, meaning it will have four new-generation Continental GT3s on the grid.

Additionally, factory drivers Vincent Abril, Steven Kane, Andy Soucek, Maxime Soulet, Jules Gounon and Jordan Pepper have all been retained for 2019.

Bentley Motorsport director Brian Gush explained that at least one of the Spa entries would be made up of drivers promoted from its global customer racing program.

“Once these are confirmed, we will look at our options for the fourth car,” he said.

“The most important thing for us as a brand is that we have four driver teams capable of winning the race.”

This year, the best M-Sport car finished 25th overall at Spa, while Bentley went on to finish fourth in the IGTC manufacturers’ standings. 

Its fifth season in Blancpain GT, and its first with the new-gen Continental, resulted in Steven Kane and Jules Gounon finishing 14th in the drivers’ championship.

“From the start of our GT3 programme, the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup has provided an ideal platform for us to demonstrate the performance of our cars and develop them for our customers to race around the world,” said Gush.

“The Intercontinental GT Challenge allows us to extend our programme outside of Europe, which is vital to reflect the global presence of our brand.”

Gush also confirmed that Bentley Team M-Sport’s drivers will once again be available to customer teams next season.

Bentley had a customer presence in multiple championships this year, including Pirelli World Challenge, Blancpain GT Series Asia and British GT.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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