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Nico Verdonck, ABT Sportsline and Bentley set their sights on victory in the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring!

The Belgian Nico Verdonck will join the ABT Sportsline team to drive a Bentley Continental GT3 in the forthcoming 24 Hours of the Nürburgring. Three preparatory races are also on the programme.

Nico Verdonck is one of the Belgian references when it comes to Grand Touring car races and more specifically on the prestigious Nordschleife of the Nürburgring, one of the world’s most demanding circuits. All motorsport enthusiasts will recall the outright race lap record the Brussels based driver clocked up last September during a VLN Championship event, driving a Ford GT.

This performance did not go unnoticed, not least in the eyes of the renowned ABT Sportsline team. The latter decided to place their trust in the Belgian to drive one of its Bentley Continental GT3 in 2017. “The objective is to excel in the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring, one of the world’s most important endurance races”, Nico commented. “In order to thoroughly prepare beforehand, three other events are on the programme: the first two rounds of the VLN as also the qualifying race – a 6-hour event – with a view to the 24 Hours.”

An excellent factory programme that delights the current VLN Lap Record holder: “Fantastic news and great opportunity for my career, not only for the first time will I dispose of a top performing car for the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring, but on top of that it will be in an excellent context. I will be supported by experienced, strong teammates and have the opportunity beforehand to carry out test runs with the team and the Continental GT3 … With ABT Sportsline I am joining an extremely professional team that prides itself on a solid record of achievements. Moreover, to be at the wheel of a Bentley on the ‘Green Hell’, as Jackie Stewart called it, is quite simply fantastic... This marque boasts such prestige and motorsport heritage that to defend its colours will be a tremendous honour.“

Having been a specialist of the "one shots" over these last few seasons, Nico is delighted to see a factory programme materialise. “I think that this drive is a perfect reward for the efforts put in during that period”, he smiled. “I never threw in the towel and I believe I managed to take full advantage of the opportunities being offered. I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who, directly or indirectly, have supported me up until now, be it the teams or my partners and all my fans who placed their trust in me. Without them I would not be there today, and it’s proof that perseverance pays of... My thanks also to ABT Sportsline and Bentley for having given me the chance to join them in this project. I will definitely give it my all and through my performances prove that they were right!”

Nico Verdonck’s 2017 programme is not only limited to those four races. “I am working on other projects, some of which are already at an advanced stage”, the young 31-year old driver clarified. “But at this given moment in time I cannot say more than that. Once matters are finalised you will be the first to know!”