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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Cumbria's M-Sport to develop Bentley’s new Continental GT3 racing car

Bentley has chosen Cumbria’s M-Sport to help develop its new Continental GT3 racing car.

Malcolm Wilson photo
Malcolm Wilson

Bentley is planning to enter the GT3 European Championship at the end of 2013.

It has already unveiled a concept car and has now signed up M-Sport, based at Dovenby Hall near Cockermouth, as technical partner. M-Sport will design and develop specialist components.

Bentley says M-Sport’s know-how and facilities complement the team at its factory at Crewe in Cheshire.

Together, they will create “an array of expertise and equipment that will help to ensure the development of a competitive GT3 racecar worthy of Bentley’s return to the racetrack”.

Malcolm Wilson, managing director of M-Sport, said: “Joining forces with Bentley to help create the new Continental GT3 is a rare privilege.

“Bentley’s design and analysis work to-date has shown that the Continental GT road car can become an extremely competitive race car.

“We are looking forward to capitalising on our extensive competition car development experience and success to help Bentley realise their goals.”

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) launched the GT3 European Championship in 2006 as a spin off from its GT1 World Championship.

The aim was to expand manufacturer involvement in motorsports and to help amateur drivers.

GT3 differs from GT1 by using relatively low-cost engineering and design, as well as using performance balancing and handicap weights to make cars more equal.

Cars made by Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Ford, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes, Nissan and Porsche have all competed.

Bentley, which is owned by Volkswagen, unveiled its Continental GT3 Concept Racer at the Paris Mondial de l’Automobile at the beginning of October.

It will make its UK debut at the 2013 Autosport International exhibition at Birmingham NEC next month.

The partnership with Bentley is a further boost for M-Sport, which three weeks ago announced it will run three Qatari-liveried Ford Fiesta RS cars under the Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team banner in the 2013 World Rally Championship.

That news followed the announcement from Ford that it would end its funding of the World Rally team and pull out of the World Rally Championships, potentially threatening 200 jobs at M-Sport.

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