Bentley’s return to motorsports becomes official on December 13, at the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi. The new Continental GT3 racer will take to the track, and Bentley has selected a new generation of “Bentley Boys” to pilot the first factory racing Bentley in a decade.
Guy Smith, Steven Kane and Andy Meyrick are the chosen drivers. Smith has been affiliated with Bentley’s racing efforts since 2001, and was behind the wheel of the Bentley Speed 8 that took the checkered flag at the 2003 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Since then, he has raced with Audi and Dyson Racing in the American Le Mans (ALMS) series. Kane comes to Bentley from the Porsche Carrera Cup and British Touring Car series, with experience in ALMS and Grand-AM as well. Meyrick, in addition to growing up near the Crewe factory where Bentleys are built, has raced in the Le Mans Prototype class at the 24-hour race and more recently piloted the Nissan DeltaWing in ALMS.
Bentley’s new drivers are in the final stages of testing with the new Continental GT3 car. Early reports show that the car, based loosely on the roadgoing Continental GT Coupe, is a reliable and fast endurance racer. Brian Gush, Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, said, ““After completing development and endurance testing on a variety of race tracks around Europe since we unveiled the car at Goodwood in July, we’re confident that the Continental GT3 is prepared for its first test race. While the development work never stops, we feel ready to take on the competition for the first time in Abu Dhabi.”