(Zhuhai, China, 16th March 2015) Bentley Team Absolute has announced an impressive three-car line-up as the Bentley Continental GT3 embarks on its first full season of competition in Asia. Combining brilliant young talent and respected veterans from Asia and Europe, Bentley Team Absolute has created one of the most intriguing – and formidable – squads ever assembled.
Bentley Team Absolute’s triple-threat assault in the 2015 GT Asia Series marks the continuation of the extraordinary Asian debut of the Bentley Continental GT3 at the end of last season, which included a podium finish in the GT Asia Series in Shanghai and a strong performance in the Macau Grand Prix’s prestigious Macau GT Cup with Frenchman Jean-Karl Vernay, 27, behind the wheel.
Vernay returns to Bentley Team Absolute this season and will be joined by Chinese Taipei driver Jeffrey Lee in the #07 car. Lee has contested the GT Asia Series for the last three seasons, finishing fourth in 2013 and winning a race in each of the past three years. Vernay, meanwhile, has proven successful in every car he’s raced – from finishing second in the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix in 2009 to winning the Porsche Carrera Cup France in 2012 and the LMGTE Am class at the 201324 Hours of Le Mans.
The pairing of 25-year-old Hong Kong driver Adderly Fong and Japan’s Keita Sawa in the #08 Bentley Continental GT3 also represents a force to be reckoned with. Sportscar veteran Sawa counts double victories in the Macau GT Cup and class wins in the Japan Super GT, as well as the 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia championship title, amongst his many achievements.
Fong has already amassed a wealth of experience, and last year became the first-ever Hong Kong driver to test in Formula 1, at Valencia with Sauber. The former Formula 3 and GP3 Series driver also won the Audi R8 LMS Cup title in 2013.
Briton Steve Kane makes his Asian racing debut in 2015 alongside Hong Kong driver Jacky Yeung, the 2014 GT Asia Series GTM champion, in the #77 car. Kane’s experience racing the Bentley Continental GT3 in the 2014 British GT Championship and the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series, where he took victory at Silverstone, gives Bentley Team Absolute an added advantage as the team embarks upon its first full-blown assault on the Asian sportscar scene.
In addition to competing in the GT Asia Series, Bentley Team Absolute will be gunning for glory in the invitational Macau GT Cup at the 62nd Macau Grand Prix from November 19-22. The most prestigious GT race in Asia, Bentley Team Absolute returns to conquer the Guia Circuit in the glittering end-of-year showcase.
In the GT Asia Series, all three entries will compete in the Pro/Am Class, with the season getting underway May 15-17 at the Korea International Circuit. Rounds in Okayama and Fuji, Japan, will be followed by a three-hour race at Malaysia’s Formula 1 track, the Sepang International Circuit. The penultimate meeting will take place in Shanghai, with the season finale set for Thailand’s Burriam International Circuit in October.
Unveiled in 2012, the Continental GT3 retains the iconic silhouette of the Continental GT, but the 4.0-litre V8 GT3 produces up to 600bhp and is 1,000 kg lighter than the GT. Now in its second season of racing, the Continental GT3 makes its debut on Asia’s premier circuits and at some of the region’s most prestigious events.
“We’re delighted to announce the Bentley Team Absolute entries for the 2015 season and to debut the incredible Continental GT3 across Asia’s finest tracks,” said Absolute Racing director Ingo Matter. “The pairings of Jeffrey Lee and Jean-Karl Vernay, Adderly Fong and Keita Sawa, and Steve Kane and Jacky Yeung make Bentley Team Absolute formidable competition in the GT Asia Series, and we look forward to a competitive and exciting season of racing.”
The comprehensive Asian programme complements an expanded global motorsport agenda for the Bentley Continental GT3 in 2015, which includes both Bentley Works and Works-supported teams. The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, the ADAC Zurich 24h Race at the Nürburgring, and the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi headline a programme which also includes the Blancpain Endurance and Sprint Series, the ADAC GT Masters and the Pirelli World Challenge.