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Team Parker Racing is set to resume action in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup as it tackles the daunting 24 Hours of Spa over this forthcoming late autumnal weekend of (October 22-25).

Despite bad luck at the opening two rounds of the season, with brake failure at Imola and unnecessary damage from a rival behind the Safety Car at the Nürburgring, Bentley Motorsport Academy members Frank Bird from Penrith and teammates Nicolai Kjærgaard, and Euan McKay remain upbeat about their chances at the marquee event after the official two-day test at the circuit in September.

The conditions during the test were similar to those expected for the race, with the car finishing 12th quickest overall in the wet and first in the Silver Cup during one of the dry sessions. All three Academy drivers also got time behind the wheel at night, boosting their knowledge and experience, though a tyre blowout early on the second morning curtailed running.

Usually a summer classic with long daylight hours, the amended schedule for 2020 means the 24 Hours of Spa will take place under challenging conditions with the sun setting just three hours into the contest and rising on Sunday morning with only six hours left to run, also factoring in the end of daylight savings which will happen during the night.

If 15 hours of darkness wasn’t enough for competitors to contend with, the weather is also expected to be a factor, with temperatures of around 10C and a 60% chance of rain based on previous years.

Tackling the Silver Cup class in their Bentley Continental GT3, the trio will have a busy opening day of the event on Thursday, October 22, with a 90-minute free practice session followed by 60-minutes of pre-qualifying. Qualifying will be split into 15-minute segments in the evening, with 90-minutes of night practice closing out the day.

Friday will be a chance to largely reset and rest up with just a 30-minute warm up and super pole, ahead of the main event itself, which gets underway at 15:30 CEST / 14:30 BST on Saturday, October 24. Links to live and free coverage will be shared on the team’s social media channels across the four days, with updates and information also posted for fans to keep up with all the action.

Frank Bird: “The first day of the Spa test started wet so we did some good work on that before the track dried up in the afternoon. It was good of the organisers to put on night running to give us the experience of that before the race and it was absolutely mental! You can’t really see a thing going into the woods, unless you’re following someone, or someone is following you, but I really enjoyed it. Day two finished early for us because a tyre blew out at 09:30 which cut things short, sadly.

“Spa should suit the car more than the Nürburgring did so we should be in a good spot. The start of the season hasn’t been great, but we take each race as it comes. Each weekend we are getting more experience and more confidence, so hopefully it should be a good week.”

Pictures courtesy of Drew Gibson/Bentley Motorsport.

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