Dyson To Field World Challenge Bentleys
NEW YORK — 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.
Dyson will race a pair of Continental GT3s in the second half of the Pirelli World Challenge in preparation for a full season of competition in 2015.
“Now that our European motorsport program is up and running, securing a return to racing in our biggest market is the natural next step,” said Brian Gush, Bentley director of motorsport. “It’s extremely exciting to be back here with a race car 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 program 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 longtime 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.
“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,” said team owner Rob Dyson. “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.”