Image credit: BlancpainGT.

Bentley Team M-Sport made a strong start to its 2015 European season, with the #7 Continental GT3 of British trio Guy Smith, Andy Meyrick and Steven Kane finishing a provisional second-in-class (fourth overall) in the opening round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Italy’s famous Monza track.

The sister #8 car of new Bentley Boy team Maxi Buhk, Maxime Soulet and Andy Soucek fought through the field, overcoming multiple challenges to climb 23 places overall and finish provisional P12 and eighth-in- class, also scoring championship points.

Both cars endured some bad luck during the race, with higher results being limited after cars were forced off the track by slower competitors.

However, the result bodes well for the season ahead, and Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush, was satisfied with the outcome:
“This is the start to our season that we were looking for. We’ve spent the off-season focusing on the setup of the Continental GT3, and we’re now seeing the results of those efforts. I’m delighted that car #7 has scored some really valuable championship points, and equally impressed by the hard-fought position of car #8. Buhk, Soulet and Soucek had to fight from P35 on the grid after a harsh penalty, and overcame a puncture and some questionable driving from our competition to finish in the points. We’ll be aiming to build from here for the next round, our home race at Silverstone.”

Guy Smith, car #7 said: “I’m pleased with my performance today and very satisfied with our result. We arrived here with a good setup for our car that we refined in the practice sessions. I was concerned about the start – Monza is a very tricky place to start a race, especially with 60 cars on the grid, but I had a great start and made four places in to the first chicane. From there I was able to manage my position well, and Andy and Steven did the rest. We’ve made a running start to the season and I can’t wait for Silverstone