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Paraplegic racer Bailly to race specially modified Bentley for CMR

26 January 2022

Paraplegic racer Nigel Bailly is set to drive a Bentley for French squad CMR in this season's Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Endurance Cup. 

The 32-year-old Belgian will enter the five-round championship using a specially modified Continental GT3, including a run at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa. His teammates are yet to be confirmed, though a statement from CMR suggested that both will be familiar with GT racing. 

Bailly was injured in a motocross accident at the age of 14 but returned to racing almost immediately, switching to karts using hand-throttle controls. Since graduating to cars he has participated in a number of events, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

CMR boss Charly Bourachot said: "Nigel is a real enthusiast, who loves car racing and does everything to live his dream. Obviously, the project of entering a Bentley in Endurance for Nigel immediately appealed to me, and I am delighted that it will materialize in 2022!"

Bailly added: "From the first contact with Charly, I immediately felt confident. Finding a team capable of embarking on a such a challenge is not so obvious, and I thank CMR and its technical team for their welcome. Moreover, this great project would not be possible without the unconditional support of my partners."

Notably, Bailly's first-ever car race was at Spa-Francorchamps in 2017; just five years later, he will make his maiden appearance in the legendary TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa. The announcement also ensures that the Bentley marque will remain on the grid in 2022.

Bailly and the CMR squad will participate in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS test days at Circuit Paul Ricard on 7-8 March. The Endurance Cup campaign kicks off at Imola on 1-3 April before visiting Circuit Paul Ricard (3-5 June), the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa (28-31 July), Hockenheim (2-4 September) and Barcelona (30 Septemeber-2 October).