Alex Buncombe will stand in for Maxime Soulet in this weekend’s Suzuka 10 Hours, in a last-minute driver change to the No. 108 Team M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3.
Soulet has opted to sit out of the fourth round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli due to the pending birth of his first child.
“Our baby wasn’t due for a few weeks but it looks like he will make an early arrival, so I made the decision to stay home to look after my partner and make sure he arrives safely,” Soulet said.
“Alex has done a fantastic job for the team so far this season and I’m sure he will do me proud at Suzuka.
“I’ll be watching and supporting from the hospital or home and I hope to celebrate both the birth of my son and a race win for Bentley on Sunday evening.”
It will mark Buncombe’s fourth start of the year in the factory Bentley squad, after initially taking the seat of the departed Vincent Abril in the first two races of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.
Buncombe, who took part in the California 8 Hours in one of KCMG’s Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s, will team up with Andy Soucek and Seb Morris for the penultimate round of the IGTC season.
“Naturally, all of us at Bentley fully support Max’s decision to stay by his partner’s side and we wish them all the luck in the world for the safe arrival of Soulet Jr.,” said Bentley Motorsport director Paul Williams.
“Equally, we look forward to welcoming Max back to the cockpit soon.”