Bentley Team Absolute is set to miss this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge season-ending round at Sonoma Raceway, with questions over the Chinese squad’s participation in the series for next year.
The No. 88 Bentley Continental GT3 of Adderly Fong, who currently sits 10th in the Sprint championship, has been withdrawn from the pair of final 50-minute races that will close out the Sprint and overall PWC season.
Fong, who along with the team also missed the Mid-Ohio weekend due to a clash with the China GT Championship, has one victory to his credit this year, at Road America.
It’s understood the decision to miss Sonoma came prior to the team’s poor outing at Circuit of The Americas earlier this month, which saw the team’s solo entry of Fong and factory Bentley driver Vincent Abril endure a challenging weekend.
Absolute returned to a two-car squad at the following round at Utah Motorsports Campus, with ex-Formula One driver Will Stevens on the driving strength.
Team director Ingo Matter told Sportscar365 last month in Utah that their 2018 plans had yet to be decided but indicated that a return to PWC would be a challenge.
Despite Absolute’s no-show for Sonoma, the GT class will still be well-represented, with 20 GT3 cars spread between GT and GTA, plus a single GT Cup car, for this weekend.
Headlining entries are the three main championship protagonists who are all within 32 points of the overall series title.
Memo Gidley, who is making his return to professional racing for the first time since sustaining injuries in the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona, is a welcome addition, with the Californian in the No. 101 Porsche for TKO Motorsports.
GTS, meanwhile, has a 21-car entry for this weekend, spread between GTS and GTA entrants.
New to the grid is former IndyCar Rookie-of-the-Year Alex Lloyd, who will pilot the No. 22 CRP Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.
The No. 69 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta G44 of Harry Gottsacker is absent from the entry list, leaving Parker Chase to carry the flag for the team in the No. 19 entry.
Also off of the entry list is the No. 99 JCR Motosports Maserati GT4 of Jeff Courtney.
No driver is listed for the No. 25 ANSA Motorsports SIN R1 GT4 GTSA entry, which was driven by Dakota Dickerson at the last round at COTA.
Track action gets underway on Friday.
Ryan Myrehn contributed to this report