Bentley Motorsport has finished in second place in the largest GT3 race in the world, the 24 Hours of Spa, with its #8 Continental GT3 and drivers Maxime Soulet (BE), Andy Soucek (ES) and Vince Abril (MC).

With a carefully pre-determined race strategy, the Bentley Team M-Sport crew ran out-of-sync with many of the leading GT3 competitors for most of the race but the long-term gains came to fruition in the final stages of the 24-hour endurance event.

In the final hour of the race, Soulet emerged from the pits just 10 seconds behind the #25 Audi that soon became race leader. Despite pushing hard to the end, the #8 car couldn’t close the gap and the team celebrated second place in one of the toughest motorsport events in the world after 546 laps and more than 3,800 kilometres of flat-out racing.

The points collected from strong positions at the six, 12 and 24 hour marks mean Bentley Team M-Sport retains the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup lead with only one other competitor able to challenge for the title at the final round in Barcelona at the end of the season. The team has also closed the gap to the overall Blancpain GT Series Teams title to just six points, with three rounds remaining including Barcelona.

The second place finish also secures Soucek, Soulet and Abril’s position at the top of the Endurance Cup Drivers championship and projects Abril to overall Blancpain GT Series Drivers championship leader.

In our sister car #7, Guy Smith (GB), Steven Kane (GB) and Oliver Jarvis (GB) fought their way for 24 hours, racing strong and after a valiant fight, they crossed the line in 13th place.

Our European Racing Partner, Bentley Team ABT, were unable to complete the 24-hour endurance race. Car #9 with Christer Jöns (DE), Nico Verdonck (BE) and Jordan Lee Pepper (SA) made it through the night only to fall foul with six hours and 42 minutes to go when a technical fault prevented them from finishing the race.

The next round of the Blancpain GT Series is the Sprint race which takes place at the Hungaroring near Budapest in Hungary, on 25-27 August.

Maxime Soulet, car #8, said:

I tried to catch the Audi at the beginning of my last stint, but when I realised I was not getting any closer, I stopped fighting. This second place still feels like a win, though. It was a very hard fight, we all agree that this was the toughest Spa we ever did. It’s a first podium for Bentley in Spa, I heard that everybody was crying when I crossed the line.