Published on June 6th, 2018 | by Subhash Nair0
Bentley Celebrates Maiden Podium for New Continental GT3
Bentley’s second-generation Continental GT3 claimed its maiden podium on Saturday night (2 June) with Bentley Team M-Sport, thanks to a faultless performance from drivers Steven Kane (GB), Jules Gounon (FR) and Jordan Pepper (ZA) at the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Paul Ricard 1000km in France.
The results came in only the third race for Bentley’s new 2018 Continental GT3, in the first real test of its endurance credentials ahead of next month’s blue riband Spa 24 Hours.
Pepper enjoyed a strong first stint as a Bentley Boy by climbing from 18th to 12th before the team’s decision to use its single, faster ‘joker’ pitstop vaulted the South African up to fourth. He remained there until the next round of stops when Kane climbed aboard.
The #7 Continental GT3 continued to make progress thereafter and was soon running second thanks to the Briton’s fast and consistent double stint. Gounon then completed the final two hours, and even spent time in the lead, before having to settle for second late on.
The team’s #8 entry, shared by Andy Soucek (ES), Maxime Soulet (BE) and Vincent Abril (MC) also underlined the second-generation Continental GT3’s potential by setting fastest lap and running inside the overall top-five before retiring in the final hour with a wheel bearing issue caused by contact on track.
Elsewhere, the first-generation Continental GT3 continued to prove its longevity by claiming a second Pro/Am class podium in three races thanks to Team Parker Racing trio Derek Pierce (GB), Rob Smith (GB) and Seb Morris (GB).
There was further success for Bentley in Thailand where est Cola by AAS Motorsport’s first-generation Continental GT3 driven by Kantadhee Kusiri and Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak took victory in Thai Super Series/GT Asia’s second race of the weekend.
The Spa 24 Hours, a round of both this season’s Intercontinental GT Challenge and Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, takes place on July 26-29.