Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: Bentley Press | posted December 16, 2013 16:38
The all-new Continental GT3 shows reliability and good pace
In what Bentley calls a “test race” to prepare for their return to mainstream racing next year, the all-new Continental GT3 finished a remarkable fourth place at Gulf 12 Hours of Abu Dhabi.
Team M-Sport was amazingly solid after the first six hours of the race and finished third. They held on to the same position in the second half until the final two hours of the race when they went up against the more experienced and established Ferrari 458 GT3 of Kessel Racing. Damage sustained on the underfloor of the Continental GT3 forced the team to cruise to the finish line.
“In running an all-new car for the first time, our main goal today was to finish the race and be consistent. We’ve achieved this, and then to finish fourth in a race with such established competition is extremely encouraging. We leave Abu Dhabi with confidence that we will have a reliable and competitive package for 2014, when the hard work really starts,” said Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush.
The highlight is the durability and reliability, in the first outing, of the all new Continental GT3 racecar for 12 straight hours. As impressive also is the teamwork and total performance of the three new Bentley Boys that each drove four hour-long stints in the desert heat of Gulf 12 Hours of Abu Dhabi. British racers Guy Smith, Steven Kane and Andy Meyrick gushed about the car’s performance in its very first race.
“Today has been amazing. All three of us found that we could really push the car to the limit, and when we realised we were on for a good result it encouraged us to really test its abilities. It’s given us a lot to look forward to in the Blancpain series next year,” said Guy Smith
The team pushed the new car to the absolute limit in preparation for 2014. The task now is to analyze the copious amounts of data collected during the race and use it to develop the car in preparation for a full season of racing in the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series, beginning at Monza on 12th April.