Bentley Motorsport taps Sprint Series champ Vincent Abril for 2016 season

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 10, 2015

Bentley Motorsport has disclosed its drive line-up for the 2016 season. Still driving for Bentley next season are British Bentley Boys Guy Smith and Steven Kane, after the duo re-signed with the team.

They will be joined by Vincent Abril, who was recently crowned as 2015 Blancpain Sprint Series champion along with current Bentley Boy and Bentley Team HTP teammate Maximillian Buhk. Smith, Kane and Abril will pilot the #7 Continental GT3 in the upcoming season.

Abril replaced Andy Meyrick for the third pilot slot in the #7 car. However, the trio’s team-up will be next month’s Sepang 12 Hours race before gearing up for the 2016 season. Next season will mark Bentley Team M-Sport’s third year at the Blancpain Endurance Series.

Bentley Motorsport will still deploy the trio of Andy Soucek, Maxime Soulet and Maxi Buhk in another car – the #8 Continental GT3 -- for the 2016 season.

Bentley’s Director of Motorsport Brian Gush remarked that following a triumphant performance this year with Bentley Team HTP, Bentley Motorsport cannot help but be impressed with Abril’s talent, and thus it was natural for him to join the Works team.

He noted that Bentley Motorsport maintains a close relationship with its customer teams, noting that the flow of drivers between them is one of the team’s key principles for success.

He expressed confidence that Abril will be a great addition to Smith and Kane in the #7 Continental GT3. Gush also thanked Meyrick for his service in the past two years, driving alongside Smith and Kane.

He described Meyrick as a dedicated racer who helped the team develop the Continental GT3 into the winning machine it is today. He said the team will still maintain a relationship with Meyrick, hoping he would drive for Bentley again soon.

Gush also remarked that Bentley’s decision to retain its current line-up -- Soucek, Soulet and Buhk -- for #8 Continental GT3 has been “very rewarding.” He noted the trio managed to form a very strong team in the last few months and the team has high hopes for them in the 2016 season.

On the other hand, Abril expressed excitement in his promotion to a Works driver. He remarked that 2015 has been a good year for him, particularly because he won the Sprint Series title and because of his promotion to Bentley Motorsport.

Abril expressed gratitude to his former team Bentley Team HTP and to teammate Buhk. He also expressed eagerness to race with his new teammates – Smith and Kane.

Press Release

BENTLEY MOTORSPORT CONFIRMS DRIVERS FOR 2016

Bentley Motorsport is continuing its preparation for the 2016 season with confirmation of its driver line-up, including the signing of 20-year old Monegasque driver Vincent Abril. Recently crowned as 2015 Blancpain Sprint Series champion together with current Bentley Boy and Bentley Team HTP team-mate Maximillian Buhk, Abril graduates from the customer team to join the Bentley Motorsport squad for 2016.

Abril will share the #7 Continental GT3 with British Bentley Boys Guy Smith and Steven Kane, who have both re-signed with the team. Their first race together will be the Sepang 12 Hours in December, before they compete in the 2016 season that will include Bentley Team M-Sport’s third year of the Blancpain Endurance Series.

The dynamic partnership of Andy Soucek (Spain), Maxime Soulet (Belgium) and Maxi Buhk (Germany) continues in the sister Continental GT3 for 2016, after a strong team performance in 2015.

Bentley’s Director of Motorsport Brian Gush comments:

“Joining the Works team is a natural step for a driver of Vincent’s talent. We were very impressed by his performance this year with Bentley Team HTP, and his championship win was the reward for a strong and consistent season. We have close relationships with our customer teams, and the flow of driving talent between us is one of our key principles for success. I’m confident that Vincent will be a great addition to our established pairing of Steven and Guy and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can achieve together.

“Retaining our current line-up for car #8 is very rewarding. Andy, Maxime and Maxi have formed a very strong team in the last few months and they’ve all proved an excellent turn of speed. We have high hopes for them next year.

“I’d like to thank Andy Meyrick for his service to the team over the last two years. He has been a dedicated racer in car #7 and helped us develop the Continental GT3 to the championship-winning machine it is today. We will be maintaining a relationship with Andy and I’m hopeful that we’ll see him behind the wheel of a Bentley on track again soon.”

Vincent Abril said:

“It has been a very good year for me and, after winning the Sprint Series title this year, my promotion to Bentley Motorsport is a great next step. I’m really grateful to everyone at Bentley Team HTP and to Maxi Buhk for giving me the opportunity to win this year, and can’t wait to race with two guys as talented and experienced as Steven and Guy. I’m looking forward to fighting for the championship with them, but not to battling Maxi on the track!”

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