Problems For Bentley Team M-Sport
Alexandre Imperatori, Oliver Jarvis and Edoardo Liberati put the #18 KCMG Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 on provisional pole for the second round of the 2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge ahead of the #10 Audi Sport team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo piloted by Dries Vanthoor, Frédéric Vervisch and Christopher Haase.
Completing the top three fastest qualifiers ahead of the Top 10 Shootout was the lone Ferrari entrant, #27 HubAuto Corsa F488 GT3 driven by Nick Foster, Tim Slade and Miguel Molina.
Fastest of the three GT4 entries was the #41 PF Racing Ford Mustang GT4 with driver line-up of Jason Pesek, Jade Buford and Chad McCumbee.
There was drama for Bentley Team M-Sport after the #107 Bentley Continental GT3, in the hands of Steven Kane, withdrew from qualifying after the first 15-minute session while the sister #108 entry finished fourteenth after the three 15-minute sessions.
Bentley’s Director of Motorsport Brian Gush outlined the issues currently facing the Cumbria, UK-based team.
“Starting with car #107 we had a problem with it yesterday – a water leak and a misfire and, not having the chance to get it back on track for a shakedown, the problem reoccurred this morning in qualy so we’ve got a bit of work to do now.
“Car #108 struggled for grip and we’ve got two new drivers in that car so they’re getting used to the car on a low-grip track. But it’s a long race – eight hours – so we’ll play the long game.”
Despite the challenges that Bentley Team M-Sport face, Brian Gush is still confident that the two-car entry will be fighting for podium honours at the end of Saturday March 30’s California 8 Hours.
“We’ve got good race pace. We don’t have a good qualifying set-up but a really good race pace and I’m confident that the drivers are confident in the car over a long distance so yes, I’m confident we’ll have a good race.”
The Pole Shootout for the top ten fastest qualifiers gets underway at 15:30 local time (22:40 UK time) on Friday March 29.