MOTORSPORT NEWS Track Racing

PEPPER TO RACE SPA 24

South African GT3 race driver Jordan Pepper has been confirmed as part of a three-car Bentley factory team to race in the legendary Spa 24-hour at the Francorchamps circuit 29-30 July. The jewel in the crown of the Blancpain GT Endurance Championship, the Spa 24-hour attracts the cream of the GT racing crop with over 60 cars and 180 drivers taking to the grid for the annual epic.
Jordan Pepper
“It has been my dream to race the Spa 24-Hour ever since I first drove a GT car,” Jordan admitted. “I am hugely thankful for this opportunity and for the trust that Abt Team Bentley has once again put in me — I will be sharing a third factory-backed Bentley Continental GT3 with German driver Christer Jöns and Belgian Nico Verdonck and run by the Abt team alongside two M-Sport entries at Spa.
“We are ready to take the battle to the other manufacturers’ factory entries, so yes, I’m really, really looking forward to it.  “Spa is an incredible race — it’s more of a 24-hour sprint than an endurance race — maximum attack from lap one until the end in a really intense and physical effort.”
Also, like the Nurburgring, which is just an hour’s drive away; Spa is situated in the Eiffel Mountain region where the weather is unpredictable and anything can happen. Bentley was for instance robbed of the Spa 24 win last year when its leading car missed the pit entry just as the rain came down in an unexpected last minute storm…
 “The Bentley team is out to make amends with the strongest possible driver line-up and the best technical support for the Spa 24 this year,” Jordan explained. “I’ve worked very closely with the team though the build-up to the Nurburgring 24 hour and I also get along very well with my co-drivers Christo and Nicko, both of whom are really strong partners.
“Our Bentley Continental GT3 is a really strong package — it comes off an overall Blancpain 6-Hour GT Endurance win at Paul Ricard last weekend; the car is very well suited to Spa with its many medium to high speed corners and I’m glad to be back in a series with a fair Balance of Performance system that allows us an even chance to win.
“So yes, the momentum is definitely in Bentley’s court in the lead up to the 2017 Spa 24-Hour and it’s up to us to make the most of it — I’m raring for the opportunity, really excited and looking so forward to the challenge. “I’ve had a taste of Spa before in the 2015 GT Masters and I’m looking forward to going back for a proper go at the track — we have a test set for 4 July, where I plan to make the most of it and just gain all the data necessary before the big one at the end of July.”

With the big race in just under a month, Jordan will continue to prepare on the simulator alongside a comprehensive gym program with the emphasis on heat training. “It’s going to be a hot race in more ways than one,” Pepper admitted. “But I’m more than just ready to fly the South African flag high with Bentley at the Spa 24 hour.”