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Bentley at Full Throttle

We take a look back at the races that led to Bentley Team M-Sport  taking 2nd place in the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series.

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A partnership that has been growing and evolving since 2008, Naim Audio and Bentley Motors share pride for both their British heritage and innovative engineering. When Team M-Sport Bentley announced that they would be returning to the track after their historic 6th victory at Le Mans in 2003, the partnership moved up a gear, with Naim Audio joining as an official GT3 sponsor. As the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series comes to an explosive close, it’s time to look back at the exceptionally impressive debut season of our partners, Team-M Sport Bentley.

The Drivers

Their first full season of competitive racing in over a decade, Team M-Sport Bentley recruited only the best for their six-strong team of GT3 drivers. Long-standing Bentley Boy and Le Mans 24-Hours winner, Guy Smith, headed up the all-British first team, alongside experienced racers Steven Kane and Andy Meyrick. Continuing the partnership that lead Team Bentley to their 4th place debut in Abu Dhabi last year, Smith, Kane and Meyrick proved to be an exceptional team, taking the top of the podium no less than twice throughout the series. 

The second Continental GT3 was driven by European driving team, Duncan Tappy, Antoine Leclerc and former F1-racer Jérôme D’Ambrosio, who makes his GT3 debut after several successful years of open-wheel racing.

"Bentley belongs in motorsport... I'm proud of our programme and our victories" Rolf French, Bentley Board of Engineers 

The Car

Powered by a race-prepared and dry-sump version of Bentley’s powerful but efficient road-going 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and with the instantly-recognisable shape of the Continental GT, the GT3 is a true member of the Continental family. Alongside its racing ambitions, the Continental GT3 retains luxury Grand Tourer roots, with its steering wheel, carbon racing seat and leather door-pulls all trimmed and stitched by hand by the craftsmen and women at the Bentley factory in Crewe.

The Races

Kicking off at Monza with their European debut, the season for British racing fans really peaked at Silverstone race track, where Team M-Sport Bentley returned to the home of British motorsports after an 84 year absence. Fans were not disappointed, with Kane taking the chequered flag after a gruelling 3 hour race. An impressive start to the season, the Bentley Boys left their next race at Paul Ricard sitting at the top of both the Drivers and Teams Endurance Pro Championships.

Team Bentley truly proved the resilience of the GT3 in the next race of the season; the Spa 24 hours. Both cars experienced their fair share of bad luck, with #8 suffering suspension damage after being hit by a competitor and #7 sustaining damage caused by incidents between other cars. Both cars managed to finish in the top 20, securing vital championship points before their final race of the season at Nürburgring 1000 km.

The exceptional driving skills of the Bentley team paired with the extraordinary engineering and design of the Bentley GT3 drove Team M-Sport Bentley to a 2nd place result in the Team Championship, with Guy Smith, Andy Meyrick and Steven Kane finishing as runners-up in the Pro Endurance Drivers Championship.
 

Bentley Motors have created a short film documenting the remarkable efforts of the team throughout the Total 24 Hours of Spa race weekend. 

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