Bentley Team M-Sport will return to Mount Panorama in Australia next month (5-7 February) to take on the Bathurst 12 Hours with two Continental GT3s in the team’s new 2016 livery that was unveiled at the Autosport International Show today.
Bentley Boys Guy Smith (GB) and Steven Kane (GB) will once again be joined on the mountain by Matt Bell (GB), and Andy Soucek (ES) and Maxime Soulet (BE) will welcome Aussie V8 star David Russell (AU) to their team.
The team’s livery has been updated for the 2016 season to incorporate more of the vibrant green that was introduced to Bentley’s colour palette last year and includes design elements from the Union Flag.
“We return to Mount Panorama looking to get the podium result that we so narrowly missed out on last year,”commented Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush. “As with any new event for the team, we went there looking to learn as much as we could so we could go back better in year two. Our line-up is very strong and David Russell’s experience here should help us immensely, so we’re feeling quietly confident.”
David Russell has taken class victories in all of Bathurst’s endurance race formats including the 24-hour race in 2015, where he also set the fastest lap of the Mountain track ever completed by an Australian.
“Obviously, it’s a race of many challenges and it’s as easy to get caught up in an incident on the narrow mountain road as hit a kangaroo in the early hours. Keeping out of trouble, as always in endurance racing, is key to success here so our boys will be briefed to make bringing the cars back in one piece is their priority.
“The Continental GT3s will look fantastic in their new colours as they come over the mountain.There really isn’t a better place to debut the new livery.”
Fans can see the new Continental GT3 livery before its race debut at the Bathurst 12 Hours at Autosport International Show at the NEC for the next three days (15-17 January).
Bentley Team M-Sport Driver Quotes
Guy Smith, car #10: “Once you have raced in Bathurst 12 Hours, you have an overwhelming desire to go back and conquer it. We came so close last year and, although it was disappointing to so narrowly miss the podium, it has given us confidence for our return. The new livery looks fantastic and I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of the Continental GT3 for the start of another season with Bentley Motorsport.”
David Russell, car #31: ““It is a major highlight of my career to join such a prestigious and successful international GT team as Bentley Motorsport. Having visited the team in action at the Spa 24 Hour last year and during my test day at the Sepang 12 Hour last month, Bentley Motorsport is an outstanding operation that competes to win. It is a privilege to be the team’s sole Australian driver at Bathurst, where I have enjoyed some great races over the years in sportscars, V8 supercars and in production cars. I will be doing all I can to help deliver Bentley a historic first Bathurst victory in February.”