• Harold and crew-mates secure P8 despite heavy rain and several incidents
• HTP’s #11 Continental GT3 highest-placed Bentley
Harold Primat clinched a convincing eighth place overall finish in yesterday’s Nürburgring 24 Hours (May 14-17) following a mistake-free race for Bentley Team HTP’s Continental GT3. It capped a remarkable performance for the British marque, which was making its debut at the iconic Nordschleife event.
In the capable hands of Primat, Christopher Brück, Marco Seefried and Clemens Schmid, the #11 also beat both works entries to finish as the highest classified Bentley, and was the first non-German car across the line.
The HTP crew showed strong pace from the word go by securing a spot in the shoot-out, as well as the all-important blue light for the race with a top-30 qualifying position from over 200 competitors. Indeed, during the hotly contested session, VLN Endurance Series regular Brück set the 21st fastest time.
Given his extensive experience of the gruelling 25-kilometre ‘Green Hell’, Brück was first behind the wheel in what was an especially chaotic race start due to heavy rain and several on-track incidents.
Primat continued the #11’s progress through the field in a solid first stint that began at around 21:00 local time. Stepping into the Continental GT3 again at dawn and in late morning on Sunday, the Swiss ace did not put a foot wrong around the daunting 170-corner Nordschleife.
With Seefried and Schmid delivering similarly flawless performances en route to eighth overall, the HTP crew wrote the first chapter of Bentley’s history at the Nürburgring 24 Hours in fine style.
“We drove a perfect race,” enthused Primat afterwards. “We ran the best possible set-up in our works-supported Bentley in order to claim a strong result at the finish. Our Continental GT3 was reliable throughout the race and we didn’t make any mistakes, even though it would have been easy to given the tricky weather conditions, incidents and usual Nordschleife hazards.
“Although it was my second Nürburgring 24 Hours, the experience was quite different from last year because it was Bentley’s first. This demonstrates just how much work and effort HTP have put in over the winter to set up a brand new car and finish with a solid result in such a difficult race. While Audi and BMW proved to be out of reach today, we were ahead of Nissan and Aston Martin.
“The team also proved its knack for putting together a great driver line-up,” added Harold. “Clemens and I have never raced together before but we hit it off straight away. In fact, all four of us clearly work well together and with the squad, which certainly contributed to our strong performance this weekend. I am happy and proud to be a part of Bentley’s history with their first major result in one of endurance racing’s blue riband events, especially when pitted against such strong German constructors participating on home soil.”
Primat’s schedule resumes with the second instalment of this year’s Blancpain Endurance Series at Silverstone next weekend (May 23/24) where he will team up with regular BES crew-mates Mike Parisy and Vincent Abril in Bentley Team HTP’s Pro Cup-entered #84 Continental GT3.
“I only have four days to recharge the batteries before heading to Silverstone,” concluded Primat, “but at least I’ll feel fully prepared for the event!”