LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 18, 2016) – Bentley Team Absolute survived its second-straight street course unscathed and with top-10 finishes for both Andrew Palmer (US) and Adderly Fong (HK) in the Pirelli World Challenge Championship. Palmer narrowly missed out on a well-deserved fifth-place finish, but fell victim to oil on the circuit.
Palmer qualified his No. 87 Bentley Continental GT3 eighth for Sunday’s 50-minute race and had a spectacular start, moving into fifth. Soon thereafter on a restart from yellow, Palmer moved his Bentley up to fourth place, which he was able to hold until the final 10 min of the race.
Shortly after dropping to fifth and with only minutes left in the race, Palmer came upon a patch of oil put down by a damaged car and slid wide. Luckily, he avoided contact with the wall, but fell to P10, where he finished.
Fong, too, did a superb job keeping his car unscathed and picked up positions in the process behind the wheel of his the No. 88 Bentley Continental GT3. Starting from 14th, Fong improved a position on the start and continued picking his way through the field all the way to ninth at the checkered flag, capturing his best Pirelli World Challenge finish to-date.
With both cars untouched, Bentley Team Absolute is already in a good spot for the next round at Barber Motorsports Park, in Birmingham, Alabama, which is only a few short days away. Track action commences on Thursday, April 21 and continues with races on April 23 and 24. A live stream will be available at world-challenge.com.
“I think it’s important to be up front here, because they throw the green flag really early and if you’re in the back, you’ll be caught in the hairpin. Our start was crucial and we were able to go from eighth to fifth. For the restarts, it was all about timing. The Bentley is really fun on the restarts with the turbo and the boost levels; you just build it up and let’er rip!
“The car was great and I think we may have had a fourth-place finish in us, but sometimes there’s oil on the track and you don’t know until you get there!”
Andrew Palmer (USA), #87 Bentley Continental GT3
“The handling was quite difficult at the beginning on the different compounds of rubber that had been put down over the race weekend and with a full tank of fuel.
“Not having track knowledge and race experience here didn’t help, because on the restarts, with the track having a slow hairpin in the last corner leading onto the straight, by the time the green flag came out, I was still in the second to last corner. There wasn’t really anything you could do on the restart, because it was already flat-out in the last corner.
“It wasn’t a rewarding drive for me, but it was the best result so far. The bright side of the weekend is that we were able to keep it off the walls and made up some good positions that way. We learned a lot this weekend!”
Adderly Fong (HK), #88 Bentley Continental GT3