Despite the postponement of public events around the world, Bentley Motorsport still saw action last March 29 as four of the customer team’s Bentley Continental GT3s took part in a fundraiser sim-racing event.
The four Bentley racing drivers competed alongside 46 other contestants — 36 real-world racers and 10 sim racers — in the SRO E-Sports GT Series Charity Challenge. SRO, organizers of multiple real-world racing series, hosted the event from Monza, Italy, for the Assetto Corsa Competizione game. The charity racing series was made to raise funds for various COVID-19-related efforts, with the event being broadcast online via livestream on Youtube.
The four Bentley drivers were Bentley works driver Al Buncombe, K-PAX Racing’s Andy Soucek, CMR’s Arjun Maini, and JRM’s Martin Plowman, each taking the “wheel” of a Continental GT3 in the one-hour sim race. The drivers represented four of Bentley Motorsport’s customer teams.
“While it is, of course, disappointing to have to postpone rounds of the 2020 racing season, the health and safety of everyone is paramount. So, we have taken the skill set of our motorsport department and put them into action in the virtual world,” said Paul Williams, Bentley’s director of motorsport. The four drivers were already working closely with Bentley Motorsport’s technical team in developing the car.
“We applaud the team at SRO not only for their handling of the COVID-19 situation but for quickly putting on a charity event with such an impressive entry list,” Williams added.
Williams also noted that the team’s drivers and technicians were busy during the week leading up to the event, working on the setup of the virtual Continental GT3. William also pointed out the virtual car’s lap time around Monza is representative of its real-world performance on the track.
Buncombe also lauded SRO for putting on a “fantastic” charity event. “We are a very tight-knit community and, as well as giving us our motorsport fix, it’s allowing us all to come together and give our loyal fans some racing to enjoy. We’ve worked really hard on the set-up this week; the level of preparation and effort has made it feel like a real-world race week!”