Bentley has entered into a technical partnership with M-Sport to develop its new Continental GT3 racer.
Ford's long-term partner in the World Rally Championship has been signed up as Bentley gears up to enter the GT3 arena at the end of the 2013 season. M-Sport will "assist with the design of specialist components and offer focused technical expertise during the development of the program," according to a statement from Bentley.
M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson said: "Bentley's design and analysis work to-date has shown that the Continental GT road car can become an extremely competitive racecar. We are looking forward to capitalizing on our extensive competition car development experience and success to help Bentley realise its goals."
Evaluation of the Continental for the GT3 category has been ongoing since the start of the year. The team includes John Wickham, who was team manager when Bentley won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2003 and Graham Humphrys, the designer of the 1999 Le Mans-winning BMW V12 LMR.
The next stage of the project was given the green light ahead of the Paris motor show in September, when Bentley took the wraps off its GT3 Concept Racer. The definitive racecar will be designed, built and then tested in competition at the end of 2013.
Bentley Motorsport boss Brian Gush has stated that the program will only continue beyond 2013 if the Continental GT3 racer proves competitive. It is unclear if M-Sport will be involved in the manufacturer of customer cars should this happen.
The Continental Concept Racer will be on display at the AUTOSPORT International motorsports show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, UK on Jan. 10-13.