Bentley Team M-Sport will shift its focus entirely to Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli this year, with the team’s departure from GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup set to make way for increased customer programs.
As first reported by Sportscar365 in October, the British manufacturer is set to accommodate additional customer teams in Europe, including the recently announced K-PAX Racing effort, leaving the Malcom Wilson-led M-Sport squad to contest the five IGTC rounds only in 2020.
It will do so with a revised lineup that has seen both Andy Soucek and Steven Kane dropped as factory drivers.
Maxime Soulet, Jordan Pepper and Jules Gounon will contest both the IGTC for M-Sport and GTWC Europe with K-PAX, while Seb Morris, Al Buncombe and Oliver Jarvis have all been promoted to works driver status for driving duties in the global GT3 series.
In addition to K-PAX, Bullitt Racing will contest the Michelin Le Mans Cup and Team Parker Racing will return to the British GT Championship and will run Bentley’s Motorsport Academy program.
Additional customer efforts for GTWC Europe are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
“We’ve been very careful to grow and adapt our program in a way that is sustainable for us and beneficial to both our new and old customers,” said Bentley Motorsport director Paul Williams.
“I am very pleased that we have attracted teams that operate at the highest level.
“Bentley Team M-Sport has been instrumental in enabling us to grow our customer program and build the Continental GT3s required for 2020, while also preparing for Bathurst 12 Hour and planning an extensive test schedule that will benefit all of our teams.”
Dr. Werner Tietz, Bentley’s Member of the Board for Engineering added: “With the second generation Continental GT3 firmly established as a race winner, our focus is now on growing our family of partner racing teams to allow more customers the chance to experience the ultimate expression of Bentley performance.
“We are looking forward to racing around the world with both our long-standing partners and new customers to the Bentley Motorsport brand.”
Testing and assessments for the inaugural squad of Bentley Motorsport Academy drivers in underway, meanwhile.