PARFITT & MORRIS REUNITE & RETURN TO BRITISH GT WITH JRM BENTLEY
Rick Parfitt Jnr, Seb Morris and Bentley will reprise their championship-winning partnership in 2019 after joining forces with former GT1 world champions, JRM.
The Pro-Am duo claimed 2017’s British GT3 crown aboard a Team Parker Racing-run first-generation Continental GT3. Now, after a season spent contesting different series, they’re back with Bentley’s latest specification GT3 car, which has been made available to customers for the first time.
The deal also sees JRM return to British GT for the first time since the end of 2017 when it made a one-off appearance at Donington Park – coincidentally the same event where Parfitt Jnr and Morris clinched the title. While the Daventry-based advanced engineering and motorsport company has tasted success in rallycross, rallying and sports-prototypes, its greatest achievement came in 2011 when it won the FIA GT1 World Championship Drivers’ title.
JRM’s programme also sees it become one of Bentley’s select few official customer teams. Its Continental GT3 joins that of Team Parker’s on this year’s entry list, which features seven manufacturers in the senior class.
Few were expecting to see Parfitt Jnr’s name on this year’s entry after British GT’s only GT3/4 champion announced his retirement at the end of 2018. However, the opportunity to return with such a familiar combination was just too good to ignore.
“It was always going to take something immensely special to bring me back to racing having achieved my aim of winning both GT4 and GT3 titles,” he said. “So when I was approached to reform ‘the dream team’ with Seb and Bentley, who are in their centenary year, and the project is run by former GT1 World Championship-winning team JRM, it simply represented an offer I couldn’t refuse. I don’t think I have ever been more focussed and fired up: it’s time to ‘Bring the Thunder’ once again!”
Morris, meanwhile, joins JRM after being confirmed as one of Bentley’s factory M-Sport drivers for this year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa. It also follows a season racing with Team Parker and Bentley in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.
“I’m coming back to British GT as a proper ‘Pro’, JRM want my services as a driver and that’s an incredible feeling,” said the 23-year-old. “Rick had obviously announced his retirement, which was serious, and when the team talked with him he said he wouldn’t come back unless he was with me – that’s such a fantastic thing for him to have said, it’s very special and I feel honoured and humbled.”
JRM’s Managing Director, Jason King, believes the team couldn’t have secured a better driver line-up for its first full-season GT project in five years.
“JRM Racing completed its last full Blancpain season in 2013 and coming back into GT3 racing we considered our options before making the decision to become a customer team with Bentley,” he said. “We are delighted to be part of the Bentley family and run the new Bentley Continental GT3 in British GT. In addition to the car we are thrilled to have secured two talented championship-winning drivers in Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt Jnr. The experienced driver pairing puts JRM ahead of the game and we are looking forward to the season ahead.”
Bentley’s Head of Motorsport Operations, Nick Burns, added: “We are delighted to welcome JRM to the Bentley Motorsport family as our latest customer team. Since our opening discussion, we’ve been impressed with JRM’s professional operation and we’re very happy that they’ll be campaigning a new, second-generation Continental GT3 this year. We will be working closely with JRM throughout the year and we’re looking forward to getting started.”