For the 2014 New York International Auto Show Bentley showcased their 2015 Continental GT, the Flying Spur V8, and their Continental GT3 Dyson Racing Race Car, the racecar which which will mark the return of Bentley Motorsports to North America. Below is their press release regarding their comeback to U.S. soil at Road America for the Pirelli World Challenge:
BENTLEY MOTORSPORT RETURNS TO NORTH AMERICA
– Continental GT3 to compete in North America with Dyson Racing
– First race to be Pirelli World Challenge round at Road America
– Development over 2014 in preparation for 2015 championship
– New Continental GT3 race car on display at NYIAS
(New York, 16th April 2014) After an impressive performance at the opening round of the Blancpain Endurance Series in Monza, Italy last weekend, the new Bentley Continental GT3 is set to reintroduce the celebrated British marque to North American motorsports with Dyson Racing. The premier sports car racing team in the U.S., Dyson will race a pair of Continental GT3s in the second half of the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge in preparation for a full season of competition in 2015.
The new partnership returns Bentley to the racetracks of North America for the first time since 2003. The Continental GT3 will be on display on the Bentley stand at the New York International Auto Show on April 16 and 17. Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush, comments from the show:
“Now that our European motorsport programme is up and running, securing a return to racing in our biggest market is the natural next step. It’s extremely exciting to be back here with a racecar, and I’m delighted to be working with the Dyson team. Their operation reflects and embodies so many Bentley values, and I’m very confident in their abilities. This venture is the next step in the Continental GT3 plan, which we hope will eventually see our customers racing in Bentleys all around the world.”
Pending testing and development results, Bentley’s U.S. racing programme will begin with the entry of a single Continental GT3 in the Road America round of the Pirelli World Challenge at Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin on June 21. A second car will be added later in the season.
Development work and assignments for the single-driver sprint races will be shared among Chris Dyson and long-time Dyson Racing team members Guy Smith and Butch Leitzinger. The latter are also veteran Bentley Boys, Leitzinger as a driver of the class-winning Bentley EXP-8 at Le Mans in 2001 and 2002, Smith as a driver of the Le Mans overall winning Bentley Speed 8 in 2003. Smith, who was also a development driver for the current Bentley Continental GT3 program and who is now piloting one in five races of the 2014 European Blancpain Series, will drive with Dyson Racing Team Bentley as his European commitments permit.
Team Principal Rob Dyson comments:
“Our team is proud to be demonstrating to Americans that Bentley is not only one of the great names in automotive history, but also today the producer of the finest high-performance luxury cars available. As Dyson Racing begins its fourth decade in professional motorsports, it’s an honor for all of us on the team to be racing the Continental GT3 with Bentley in the Pirelli World Challenge.”
– The Continental GT3 programme is run by the Bentley Motorsport team in conjunction with M-Sport. The team is led by Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush. M-Sport was originally formed in 1979, and in 1994 M-Sport won national rally titles in Italy, Portugal, the Middle East and Britain, the latter with founder Malcolm Wilson himself behind the wheel. Since 1996, M-Sport has run Ford’s WRC campaigns, including winning two FIA World Rally Championships in 2006 and 2007.
– This year, Dyson Racing celebrates thirty years in professional sports car racing, having established themselves as the premier sports car team in North America. With a success tally including 19 championships, 70 victories, 69 poles and over 200 podiums, Dyson Racing has a long history of outstanding results – most recently winning the ALMS LMP1 Drivers and Team Championship in 2011.
– Bentley Motors is the most sought after luxury car brand in the world. In 2013 one in every four luxury cars delivered to customers worldwide was a Bentley. 2013 was Bentley’s record year in the company’s 95-year history. Global customer deliveries grew by 19% over 2012 to 10,120 cars. The Americas remained Bentley’s largest sales region, with 3,140 cars delivered. China continued its position as the second biggest market with 2,191 cars, while in Europe, deliveries reached 1,480 cars. Sales in Bentley’s home market, the UK, were 1,381 and in the Middle East, Bentley delivered 1,185 cars. By the end of 2013 Bentley had nearly 200 dealerships in 54 countries.
– Bentley Motors’ headquarters in Crewe is home to all of its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production of the company’s three model lines, Continental, Flying Spur and Mulsanne. The combination of fine craftsmanship, using skills that have been handed down through generations, alongside engineering expertise and cutting-edge technology is unique to UK luxury car brands such as Bentley. It is also an example of high-value British manufacturing at its best. Bentley employs around 3,700 people at Crewe.