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.