Bentley plays down speculation over LMP2 programme
Bentley Motorsport manager Brian Gush has poured cold water on speculation that the British firm is close to signing off on an LMP2 programme with which it would make its sportscar return.
The Crewe marque was linked this week with a return to sportscar competition in the LMP2 division. Comments made by Bentley head Wolfgang Durheimer led to reports that the team had begun research and was close to testing a modified version of the four-litre twin-turbo V8 it runs within the Continental GT3 race cars, with a view to powering one of the spec chassis that are being brought in for LMP2 from 2017 onwards.
Bentley’s focus was primarily said to be on the IMSA United Sportscar Championship in America along with outings in the European Le Mans Series. Both series would have allowed Bentley to run its own engine along with customised bodywork to brand the car.
It would have marked Bentley’s first foray into sportscar competition since it last won Le Mans in 2003 with the Speed 8 LMGTP machine. However, Gush told MN’S sister publication Autosport: “Yes we would like to do it and, yes, it would make a lot of sense because it is a good fit, but it remains on the backburner. We don’t have the planets aligned just yet.”
Gush cited the current financial difficulties with Bentley’s parent company, the Volkswagen Group, amid its emissions scandal as a prime reason any plans had stalled at this current time.
“There are a lot of things we can’t discuss, but everyone is looking at what is going on with the group,” added Gush. “At the moment we are happy to concentrate on GT3.”