Bentley's desire to field a works United SportsCar Racing program next year remains unchanged, but the manufacturer's efforts to secure an American partner to look after that program will require more time and exploration.
RACER has learned the legendary British marque will continue searching for a team to run its Continental GT3 car in 2014 after talks with numerous owners have yet to conclude in an agreement. The requirement for its partner to source and supply a large portion of the operating budget is said to be the major stumbling block.
Penske Racing was one of the potential entrants that held discussions with Bentley, but those talks fell through. Eric Bachelart's Conquest Racing, along with Greg Pickett and his Muscle Milk team have also been in contact with the company, but nothing conclusive has come from their dialogue.
The Wayne Taylor Racing Grand-Am Daytona Prototype team was reportedly the closest of all the teams to securing a deal with Bentley, but Taylor confirmed it will only race with GM equipment in 2014.
“I have a long-term relationship with General Motors that dates back three decades, and that will continue next year as the exclusive brand Wayne Taylor Racing will be involved with,” Taylor told RACER on Wednesday. “I was approached by Bentley, and was greatly honored that they valued what WTR could bring to a sports car program, but I recently informed them that we would be concentrating on our Corvette DP program alone.”
Bentley communications boss Mike Sayer confirmed this, stating: “We're still in discussion with several pro teams in the U.S., and the series organizers, and haven't yet made any decisions.”
Development for the attractive coupe (BELOW, Marshall Pruett image) will continue as Bentley looks to enter the Continental GT3 in the Blancpain Endurance Series next year, but it's believed the car's competition debut could be pushed back to summer as the twin-turbo V8-powered machine is readied for multiple series-specific applications such as BES, USCR and Pirelli World Challenge.