Bentley Team M-Sport has ended the 2016 Blancpain GT Series seaon on a high, as Andy Soucek (ES) and Maxime Soulet (BE) finished the final race in second place in the #8 Continental GT3.
The Continental GT3 was fast from the start at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona and Steven Kane (GB) finished the first practice session in second place in the #7 Continental GT3.
After a collision ended the #7 team’s weekend early, it was up to Soucek and Soulet to take charge and come away with a podium result to complete the 2016 season.
It has been a rollercoaster of a year for the Crewe-based team, which started the season with a podium in Bathurst 12 Hours. This was followed by a win in the opening race of the Blancpain GT Series in Misano and a further podium at one of the home races at Brands Hatch. However, after leading Spa 24 Hours, the team was dealt a cruel blow in the final thirty minites as a rain shower dropped it to fourth, making a championship win a difficult ask.
“I think this will go down as a year of ‘what could have been’,” commented Brian Gush, Bentley’s Director of Motorsport. “All the ingredients were in place and we had some fantastic results but we also have some learnings to take away for next year.
“We’ve had another weekend of highs and lows, but Maxime, Andy and the Bentley Team M-Sport crew have done a fantastic job to take us into the winter season with another podium under our belts.”
Andy Soucek, car #8:
“Every podium is special but when you stand up there looking over a circuit that you have grown up at, it feels incredible. Raising the profile of GT racing in Spain is extremely important to me and results like this can only help. As a child, I dreamed of standing up there representing a major manufacturer and I couldn’t imagine anything more prestigious than the Bentley wings. I am very proud.”
Maxime Soulet, car #8:
“I am delighted to be on the podium here but it’s also a time to reflect on the season. It’s been frtustrating because we have moments of pure brilliance, we just need to improve consistency as a team. However, car #8 has come a long way since last season so this year and I feel we are a very strong team. If we improve the same amount for next season, I think we can win the championship.”