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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Bentley Sets Lineups for Additional Cars at 24H Spa

Palttala, Ordoñez, Buncombe join Bentley regulars in British marque’s 24H Spa lineup…

Photo: Kevin Pecks/SRO

Bentley Motorsport has named the six drivers who will pilot its additional two cars in July’s Total 24 Hours of Spa, including high-profile names who join from other manufacturers.

The British manufacturer already committed an expanded four-car effort for the Blancpain GT Series and Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli’s longest race.

Bentley Motorsport director Brian Gush told Sportscar365 earlier this month that the two additional cars would include several drivers from Bentley’s customer teams from around the world.

One car will be driven by Callum Macleod and Seb Morris, both of whom have competed in the previous-gen Bentley Continental GT3 for Team Parker Racing in a number of European GT3 series.

They are joined by Rodrigo Baptista, who drove for K-PAX Racing in Blancpain GT World Challenge America last year.

The other car will be shared by newcomers Markus Palttala, Lucas Ordoñez and Alex Buncombe.

Ordoñez and Buncombe join Bentley after driving for Nissan and RJN in recent years, and both confirmed their exits from the Japanese manufacturer’s GT3 programs in December.

Palttala, who won the 24H Spa with Marc VDS Racing in 2015, completes the lineup and moves across from the Emil Frey Racing Lexus program last season.

The two-full season Bentleys, which are entered for the full IGTC season, are set to be driven by an almost unchanged lineup from last year, and the first round at Bathurst earlier this month.

Steven Kane, Jordan Pepper and Jules Gounon will share one car, while Andy Soucek and Maxime Soulet are in the second car.

Soucek and Soulet were partnered with Vincent Abril throughout last season and at Bathurst, although the Monegasque driver has now left the program.

A replacement for Abril is still yet to be named.

“I am delighted that we’ve been able to fill the majority of our driver slots for Spa so soon, with a wealth of experienced endurance racers,” said Gush.

“Callum, Seb and Rodrigo have all driven superbly for their respective Bentley customer teams, and as usual we always look within our wider family first when selecting new drivers for the most important races.

“Alex, Lucas and Markus bring a new dimension to the team, and all have proven ability in the key GT3 races.

“We will be looking to provide seat time with the new car to all of them in the coming weeks and months as we prepare for Spa, while we also make our selection for the last place in the 12-strong driver lineup.”

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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