Bentley Motorsport is making final preparations for its toughest challenge since the start of its Continental GT3 programme, the ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race, held on the most famous racetrack in the world – Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife. A pair of Works Bentleys will contest the race, joined by a third car entered by Bentley’s European Works-Supported operation, Bentley Team HTP.
To perform against the extreme and unique demands of the world’s hardest endurance race, some highly experienced Nürburgring experts join the 2015 Bentley Boys. The first Works car will carry number 85, and feature a special and distinctive green livery based on that of the Bentley Speed 8 that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003. The #85 car will be driven by the three British Bentley Boys – Guy Smith, Andy Meyrick and Steven Kane – all of whom have gained valuable experience in recent VLN races.
The second Works car, #84, will feature Bentley’s standard Works livery for 2015 and be driven by a team of Nordschleife specialists. Jeroen Bleekemolen will be joined by former Nürburgring 24-hour victors Christian Menzel and Lance David Arnold, in a line-up that combines speed with long-standing experience of the race. Lance David Arnold will also be available to drive for #85, with Christopher Brück available to stand-in in #84 depending on race conditions and progress.
Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush, comments:
“Competing in this famous race was one of the key targets when we started our racing programme two years ago. The challenge is not to be underestimated – we’re the newcomers amongst some very established teams here. However, our cars are well prepared and the team is well-drilled, we’ve gained great experience through VLN races, and we’re ready. The Nordschleife is the toughest racetrack in the world, and the 24-Hours is full of exceptional competitors. We already know that the Continental GT3 performs well over a full day and night of racing from the Spa 24-hour last year – but this is our hardest test yet. I’m hoping that we can keep both cars out of trouble and finish strongly.”
Bentley’s progress throughout the race can be followed via the @BentleyComms Twitter feed.
Andy Meyrick, car #85: “The 24-hour race at the Nürburgring is definitely the most gruelling of our calendar this year, but I’m really excited about the challenge. We’ve worked really hard in the VLN rounds to develop a setup for the Continental GT3 that will work well, but the race is very unpredictable. A lot of our competitors have been coming here for years, but we’ll learn quickly and push as hard as we can for a good finish.”
Christian Menzel, car #84: “Everyone who has raced at the ‘Ring before knows what a unique adventure this race is. While Bentley’s experience here is limited, the team have scored some great results in the VLN races, and both the car and the team are ready for it. I’m confident that we can be quick, but the most important thing is to be careful and stay out of trouble – and for that we’ll need some luck!”
Note: Press release courtesy Bently Media.