Bentley Team HTP was in England this weekend for round two of the Blancpain Sprint Series. The weekend had it’s ups and downs as one team scored two class victories and another was unable to race due to damage incurred in the weekend’s first practice session.
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. In the first qualifying race, one of HTP’s two entries, driven by Maximilian Buhk and Vince Abril, had an incident that damaged their Continental GT3. Buhk was behind the wheel when his car left the track suffering a pretty significant impact. Buhk was uninjured, but the car was damaged too severely to be repaired at the track and Buhk and Abril were done for the weekend.
Olivier Lombard and Jules Szymkowiak in a second HTP Motorsport Continental GT3 fared much better. In the qualifying race, the two drivers battled the field for a top 10 position. An Audi spun Lombard in the latter stages of the race a, dropping him back. Although he did well to not lose more positions, the duo would finish 10th in the field but first in the Silver Cup, which is reserved for young drivers in the field.
The main event started off slow for the Bentley as Lombard spun on the first lap. This put the too far back in a sprint style race to finish on the podium, but once again the duo battled back. In fact, Lombard made up five positions during his time at the wheel. Szymkowiak and Lombard drove well the rest of the race and would finish 12th in the field, but once again, first place in the Silver Cup.
This is HTP’s first season in the sprint series and like the Pirelli World Challenge here in America, it’s tough to recover from a mistake when you only have one hour to race. Team principal Norbert Brückner was preditcably disappointed they couldn’t run one of their cars, but praised his young drivers saying, “Olivier Lombard and Jules Szymkowiak showed a great performance and took two class wins in only their second weekend in this series. Our two junior drivers deserved a finish in the top 10.”
Bentley Team HTP has their hands full this weekend as the campaign three cars in ADAC Zurich 24 hrs at the Nürburgring.