While stepping back from his role in car #7 with Bentley Team M-Sport, Smith will retain his role supporting other Bentley customer teams around the world and remains a Bentley Motorsport test and development driver. After a 17-year association with the brand, including an outright victory at the 2003 Le Mans 24 Hours with the Bentley Speed 8, Smith will also continue to be an ambassador for Bentley.
Smith comments: “This was not an easy decision to make, but the time is right for me to step back and allow some younger talent in to my Bentley seat. At the end of last year I decided that I wanted to see the new second-generation Continental GT3 through its first race after being part of its development from the start – and we achieved that at Monza a few weeks ago. It feels right that my final race with the team should be at Silverstone, which has been one of the most important circuits of my career.
“It’ll be an emotional race for me, but I’m hoping to be with the team at the other endurance races this year and I’m looking forward to focusing on my business projects and supporting our customer teams. I’d like to thank everyone at the outstanding operation that is Bentley Team M-Sport for all the hard work and results we’ve achieved together in GT3 over the last five years.”.
Smith’s seat in the #7 car will be taken by South African racer Jordan Pepper – who has previously raced for Bentley customer teams in Europe, where he demonstrated noteworthy pace and racecraft.
Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush, comments: “I’ve been working with Guy for almost 20 years, and he’s always been the epitome of the professional racer. While we’ll all be sorry to see him step back from Bentley Team M-Sport, I’m delighted that he stays a member of the Bentley Motorsport family and that he’s taken this decision at the time that feels right for him. I look forward both to working with Guy in the future and to welcoming Jordan Pepper to Bentley Team M-Sport – his seat is thoroughly deserved and we are confident he will race well with his new car #7 team-mates Steven Kane and Jules Gounon.”
We wish you all the best, Guy Smith!
(pressrelease Bentley Motorsport)