- Team Parker Racing confirms customer Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup return
- Five-round European season includes historic Total 24 Hours of Spa
- Customer Continental GT3 joins Bentley Team M-Sport’s existing Pro Cup entries
- Pro-Am Cup entry pairs Pierce and Barwick with reigning British GT champion Morris
Official Bentley customer outfit Team Parker Racing has expanded its 2018 programme to include a Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup entry, which includes the Total 24 Hours of Spa by announcing that Derek Pierce, Ade Barwick and Seb Morris will race its Continental GT3 in Europe this season.
The British team is representing Bentley in three championships this year after previously confirming its Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup and British GT plans. The news also ensures that three Bentleys will compete in the longer Endurance Cup format, with Team Parker Racing’s first-generation car joining Bentley Team M-Sport’s two new second-generation Continental GT3s on the grid at each of this year’s five rounds.
While M-Sport’s entries will compete for overall and Pro Cup honours, Team Parker Racing’s priority will be the Pro-Am Cup class, which is reserved for a mix of professionals and amateurs. 2018 also marks the first time since 2016 that Team Parker Racing has entered the Endurance Cup.
All three of its drivers are well known to the team. Pierce previously contested the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup aboard a Team Parker Racing-run Bentley in 2016, while former single-seater ace Morris moves across to the outfit’s European programme fresh from winning last season’s British GT title with their Continental GT3. Experienced GT racer Barwick is also no stranger to the squad having previously represented Team Parker Racing at several levels of British motorsport.
Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush: “We’re delighted to see Team Parker Racing return to the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup where they enjoyed success with Bentley two years ago. The first-generation Continental GT3 remains a proven performer over longer distances, as evidenced by Bentley Team M-Sport’s Endurance Cup title and Spa 24 Hours podium last season, while Seb also demonstrated his Pro-Am credentials by sealing the 2017 British GT Drivers’ crown for Team Parker Racing and Bentley. I firmly believe the partnership has all the ingredients to mount a very strong challenge in Europe this year.”
Derek Pierce: “I really enjoyed myself when racing with Team Parker and Bentley two years ago so was delighted when Stuart [Parker] approached me about putting together a new Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup programme for 2018. I didn’t race last season but definitely view this as the beginning of a multi-year project together. Knowing the team and car from 2016 is a good place to start even if I’ve never raced with Ade and Seb, although obviously I’ve seen their results. We look like a well-matched Pro-Am driver crew that has a lot of potential for the coming season.”
Ade Barwick: “After several years spent successfully racing GT4 cars I was contacted by [team owner] Stuart Parker to see if I fancied changing up to GT3. I have a long history of racing with Team Parker across numerous series, including Caterhams, British GT and the Porsche Carrera Cup, so it looked like an easy decision. Couple that with the opportunity to race alongside Seb Morris – one of the strongest young GT drivers in Europe – and Derek Pierce, who is a very experienced and successful Am, not to mention using the very capable and proven Bentley Continental GT3, and my decision was made even easier! I would also like to thank Redline Specialist Cars and Twisted Automotive for their continuing support.”
Seb Morris: “I am delighted to have signed with Team Parker Racing for my first proper assault on the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, which I consider to be the biggest sportscar championship in the world right now. Winning last year’s title means I now feel ready to leave British GT and use all the experience learned there over the past two years to mount a championship challenge with Ade and Derek. I know all about Team Parker and the Bentley Continental GT3, which is a proven championship-winner against top Pro-Am competition. So I feel extremely confident that we can get out there and win in Blancpain.”
(press release and photocredit Bentley Motorsport)