Bentley bolsters Spa 24h line-up with Nissan outcasts
Nissan refugees Lucas Ordonez and Alex Buncombe will join Bentley's expanded assault on this year's Spa 24 Hours.
Ordonez and Buncombe, who were released by Nissan after the end of its Blancpain GT Series programme ahead of this season, will be joined by former Spa winner Markus Palttala in one of the two additional factory Bentley Continental GT3s entered for the Blancpain Endurance Cup blue riband.
The second extra entry alongside the two M-Sport full-season Endurance Cup cars will be raced at Spa by a roster of drivers drafted in from Bentley's customer teams.
Seb Morris and Callum Macleod move over from Team Parker Bentley and will be joined by Rodrigo Baptista, a regular with the K-PAX racing squad that flies the British manufacturer's flag in North America.
Bentley Motorsport boss Brian Gush said: "Alex, Lucas and Markus bring a new dimension to the team, and all have proven ability in the key GT3 races.
"Callum, Seb and Rodrigo have all driven superbly for their respective Bentley customer teams, and as usual we always look within our wider family first when selecting new drivers for the most important races."
Abril drops out of Bentley line-up
Frenchman Vincent Abril will not now be part of the Bentley programme moving forward, having been confirmed for a fourth season with the marque and racing for M-Sport in the Bathurst 12 Hours earlier this month.
Abril had "decided to explore new opportunities as his career enters its next phase", according to a Bentley statement.
Bentley has yet to announce who will take his place alongside Andy Soucek and Maxime Soulet in one of the two regular Blancpain entries.
The other will be driven by Steven Kane, Jules Gounon and Jordan Pepper, who moved into the factory line-up early last year when Guy Smith stepped down.
The two full-season cars are also contesting the Intercontinental GT Challenge, which encompasses Spa and Bathurst, as well a further three GT3 enduros.
#108 Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3: Andy Soucek, Maxime Soulet, Vincent Abril
Photo by: Alexander Trienitz
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