When Bentley unveiled the Continental GT3 Concept at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, it announced it will be specially produced for the FIA GT3 European Championship. Today, Bentley has finally announced that the production version GT3 will be developed in cooperation with M-Sport Ltd — a company famous for its successful running of World Rally Programs since 1997, including winning two Manufacturers World Rally Championships.
The Continental GT3 will be developed as "an extremely competitive race car" and most likely the production version will have the same technological features offered in the concept version. This means under the hood we will see a W-12 engine combined with a rear-wheel-drive chassis in accordance with the regulations. There will also be a comprehensive aerodynamic package, including a large rear wing and a front bumper made of carbon fiber.
The production version Continental GT3 will make its first on-track appearance by the end of 2013. The model will be produced at Bentley’s new motorsport department at the factory in Crewe.
gallery: Bentley Continental GT3 Concept
After highlight unveilings at both the Paris Mondial de l’Automobile and the LA Auto Show, the Bentley Continental GT3 Concept Racer is set to star at the 2013 Autosport International exhibition. The Continental GT3 takes the spotlight once again by appearing for its UK debut on the Autosport Stage for the duration of the show, from 10th-13th January at the NEC in Birmingham.
Following the announcement of Bentley’s return to motorsport in the GT3 category, response to the Continental GT3 has been overwhelmingly positive with significant interest from numerous potential customers. With detail design now underway at Bentley’s new motorsport department at the factory in Crewe, the Continental GT3 is on schedule to make its first on-track appearance by the end of 2013.
To assist with the design of specialist components and offer focussed technical expertise during the development of the programme, Bentley is delighted to announce a technical partnership with M-Sport Ltd, whose credentials include the successful running of World Rally Programmes since 1997, including winning two Manufacturer’s World Rally Championships.
Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush, comments: “Not only do we now have a world-beating operation in M-Sport as our new Technical Partner, but we have the honour of showing our Continental GT3 concept at Autosport International. The car continues to attract interest from around the globe, which is very encouraging as we progress the detail design. The whole team is looking forward to the exciting months ahead.”
M-Sport will design and develop specialist components, together with design work and project organisation being undertaken in-house at Crewe. The company’s Dovenby Hall base in Cumbria complements the Crewe-based team and factory facilities, together creating an array of expertise and equipment that will help to ensure the development of a competitive GT3 racecar worthy of Bentley’s return to the racetrack.
Commenting on the new partnership, M-Sport’s Managing Director Malcolm Wilson remarks: “Joining forces with Bentley to help create the new Continental GT3 is a rare privilege. Bentley’s design and analysis work to-date has shown that the Continental GT road car can become an extremely competitive race car, and we are looking forward to capitalising on our extensive competition car development experience and success to help Bentley realise its goals.”