Bentley Motorsport has won the Blancpain GT Series Paul Ricard 1,000kms with its #8 Continental GT3 and drivers Andy Soucek (ES), Maxime Soulet (BE) and Vince Abril (MC), as Bentley Team Absolute wins in the USA.

The six-hour Blancpain GT Series race took place from 6pm until midnight on the world-famous track in the South of France and Bentley Team M-Sport once again ran its pair of Continental GT3s.

After qualifying in eighth position on the grid of more than 50 GT3 cars, the #8 Continental GT3 climbed steadily to the lead, where it ran for most of the race. With consistently quick lap times, impeccable pit stops and a reliable car, the team had what Bentley’s Director of Motorsport has called a “perfect race”.

“It’s always great to take a race win but when you do it so cleanly it makes it all the more rewarding,” commented Gush. “It was a perfect race for the number eight team, which has not only delivered a great result here but has put us in a confident position going into the 24 Hours of Spa.”

The #7 Continental GT3, however, fell foul of bad luck. Guy Smith ran as high as third before a technical gremlin prevented the result that he, Oliver Jarvis and Steven Kane deserved and, after five and a half hours, the British trio was forced to retire.

The race win, which carries 33 championship points, puts Soucek, Soulet and Abril in the lead of the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup going into the largest GT3 race of the season at Spa-Francorchamps on 29th July.

As Soulet, Soucek and Abril sprayed the Champagne on the top step of the podium, Adderly Fong (HK) crossed the line of race one in Pirelli World Challenge at Road America in first place in his Bentley Team Absolute Continental GT3.


Vince Abril, car #8:

“That was incredible! It’s my first endurance race win and it’s at my home track. We’ll carry this on to the next one.”

Maxime Soulet, car #8:

“With eight laps to go we had a 30-second lead so I was able to take some of the pressure off but, until then, we had been pushing like crazy. It was a tough race with the heat but the win feels amazing!”

Andy Soucek, car #8:

"It was perfect! The car was perfect, the strategy was perfect, the pit crew was perfect and my team-mates were perfect. All the elements that we know we have all came together and we achieved what we always knew we were capable of.”