Bentley confirms driver line-up for Continental GT3 debut at the Gulf 12 Hours this December.[Not a valid template]
Bentley has confirmed that Andy Meyrick, Steven Kane and 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans winner will spearhead the company’s official return to motorsport competition at the Gulf 12 Hours in December.
Smith, along with then-teammates Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello, returned Bentley to the top of the Le Mans podium for the first time in 70 years in 2003 when the trio scored victory at La Sarthe just ahead of the sister Bentley Speed 8 of Johnny Herbert, Mark Blundell and David Brabham. One year on, now driving an R8 LMS, Smith took second overall at Le Mans alongside Herbert and Jamie Davies, just behind Audi teammates Kristensen, Capello and Seiji Ara. Since then, the Brit has raced LMP prototypes in the American Le Mans Series with Dyson Racing for nine consecutive years, securing the championship in 2011 and finishing as runner-up in 2012.
Steven Kane meanwhile, a former Oryx Racing driver in Grand-Am, has Porsche Carrera Cup, British Touring Car Championship and American Le Mans Series experience under his belt, and spent 2013 racing in the Blancpain Endurance Series with JRM Racing’s Nissan GT-R Nismo. A former McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year award winner (which netted him a test with the multi-championship winning F1 outfit), the Northern Irishman has signed to race with Bentley throughout 2014.
Andy Meyrick also competed in the Blancpain Endurance Series this season, doubling up with Deltawing Racing Cars in the American Le Mans Series (which next year will be renamed as United SportsCar Racing). A former British Formula 3 runner, the Brit has also competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, finishing fourth overall alongside Didier André and Soheil Ayari with AIM Team Oreca Matmut.
Bentley’s return to racing comes ten years after its last success and will be spearheaded by the Continental GT3, which made its international debut at last year’s Paris Motor Show. Both runnings of the Gulf 12 Hours have been won by AF Corse, who will return with six Ferrari 458 Italias to Yas Marina this December.