Bentley will end its participation in GT3 racing after the 2021 season, the automaker's motorsport chief has revealed.
Bentley Director of Motorsport Paul William made the revelation in an interview with Motorsport published Thursday, where he also said Bentley remains committed to a motorsport future and is currently evaluating new options, including Formula E, Extreme E, the new Le Mans Hypercars and Le Mans Daytona hybrid top classes in endurance racing, and a possible fuel cell-electric Le Mans prototype category. Williams also said Bentley is in talks with the FIA about a possible electric series for GT cars.
"The options at the moment are very wide, but the principle is that we want to do motorsport in the future,” he said. "We have to do something that ties into where the brand wants to go."
Bentley plans to launch its first electric vehicle in 2025 on the road to a full-electric lineup by 2030, so joining Formula E would make a lot of sense. Bentley would also have a clear path to joining with fellow Volkswagen Group brand Audi announcing Monday plans to quit Formula E after the upcoming 2020/2021 season, though the VW Group will be still represented in Formula E after Audi's exit due to Porsche fielding its own team. BMW also announced this week it is quitting Formula E, while Volkswagen said this week it is quitting all forms of motorsport.
Any new electric series for GT cars would also make sense for Bentley, should such a series get off the ground.
Of course, Bentley also has a long history in top-level endurance racing. The automaker has six overall wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the last of which came in 2003. However, Audi in its Formula E exit announcement said it plans to enter the new LMDh category, and Porsche has said it is open to the possibility, making things quite crowded for Bentley.
Bentley currently competes in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup with a GT3 race car based on the Continental GT. The automaker has been building Continental GT3 race cars since 2013 and also offers them to customer teams.