Bentley has pulled the plug on its 2020 factory Intercontinental GT Challenge M-Sport race programme with immediate effect.
The decision comes following M-Sport’s victory in the season-opening Bathurst 12 Hour earlier in the year – the first at the hallowed venue for the British marque.
Speaking with Autosport, motorsport director for Bentley, Paul Williams, says several factors culminated in the decision to axe the two-car IGTC outfit.
“The fact is that the factory programme is not the biggest priority for us.
“When you have to make a choice, it is an easy choice — the priority is our customers.
However, Williams did allude to Bentley’s commitment to a future factory programme and emphasised the outfit’s decision covers the 2020 season only.
“I still have the desire and the intent to carry on with a factory programme in the future, although we will be more and more focussed on customer racing rather than works racing,” he said.
“I think it is important to keep a pinnacle there and it is important for our customers to have a technical partner in M-Sport who goes racing as well.
“But we don’t have the final decision on what form that will take.”
The next round of the IGTC is scheduled to take place at Indianapolis in October.
Bentley’s withdrawal leaves eight manufacturers in SRO’s global endurance series.
The factory Bentley team had previously axed its GT World Challenge Europe programme following a significant scaling back of its operations.
Images: Bentley Motorsport