Bentley wants to set a new record on the "Race to the Clouds"

The Bentley Continental GT Pikes Peak #100 is a race car based on the production grand tourer. The Brits developed this vehicle specifically for the 2019 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Bentley aims to break the record for production cars, currently set at 10:26.9 minutes.

The Pikes Peak-spec Continental GT follows in the footsteps of the Bentayga, which set a record for production SUVs at the 2018 race. The Bentayga "climbed" the mountain in 10:49.9 minutes, shaving nearly two minutes of the previous record with an average speed of 66.5 mph. The race-spec Continental GT will be driven by Rhys Millen, a Pikes Peak veteran and a former winner of the "Race to the Clouds."

2019 Bentley Continental GT Pikes Peak Racer

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Up front, I can spot only minor alterations to the standard setup, like a foglamp delete and black trim

While Pikes Peak race cars from the Unlimited class look quite radical and aggressive, Bentley’s competitor for 2019 is basically identical to the production model that you can buy in dealerships. Up front, I can spot only minor alterations to the standard setup, like a foglamp delete and black trim for the bumper and grille. There’s a tow hood on the right-side bumper section, but that doesn’t changes the way the car performs. The radiator grille features a big "100" number painted in white. This number celebrates the company’s centenary year.

The profile is again identical to the production model. The Pikes Peak racer rides on bespoke wheels, but the design looks like what you could buy on a production model. The rims are obviously wrapped in special competition tires that handle Pikes Peak’s demanding course. There are no modifications to talk about around back either. While Pikes Peak cars usually feature big wings, Bentley went with a standard, wingless setup in order to be allowed in the production car category. It does appear as if the car sits a bit closer to the ground, but the difference is marginal.

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The only thing that makes the Continental GT Pikes Peak stand out is the livery.

Similar to the one used on last year’s Bentayga racer, it’s a lime green wrap with mountain graphics on the sides and black and gray details on the rear fascia and on the roof. The latter is an extension to the mountain graphics on the doors and rear fenders, but it looks like military camo in certain areas. The fascia that contains the taillights and the trunk lid features orange surrounds for a cool contrast.

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The Continental GT will take a swing at the mountain with 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque

There are no photos of the car’s interior, but it’s safe to assume that it’s identical to the production model save of a competition-spec roll cage. It’s a shame that Bentley didn’t manage to remove some features in order to shed some weight — the Continental GT is a heavy car — but regulations for the production car class don’t allow such modifications.

Bentley didn’t have much to say about the drivetrain beyond the fact that the W-12 engine "has undergone extensive testing." This doesn’t necessarily mean that the Brits made notable modifications to it. The twin-turbo, 6.0-liter unit probably generates as much as the standard Continental GT, so this car will take a swing at the mountain with 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough to propel the coupe from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and up to a top speed of 207 mph. Sure, the Conti GT won’t have enough room to hit such a mind-boggling speed, but it quick enough to cover a lot of ground on the straights.

Bentley Continental GT specifications
Engine 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W-12
Capacity 5,950 cc
Horsepower 626 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Torque 664 LB-FT @ 1,350-4,500 RPM
Transmission dual-clutch eight-speed automatic
0 to 60 mph 3.6 seconds
Top Speed 207 mph

The 10:26.9-minute benchmark should be very difficult to break given the Continental GT’s massive power and excellent dynamics. But I will be back with an update after the race.

Further reading

2018 Bentley Continental GTC
- image 806330

Read our full review on the 2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible.

2018 Bentley Continental GT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2018 Bentley Continental GT.

Bentley Bentayga smashes SUV record at Pikes Peak
- image 784731

Bentley Bentayga smashes SUV record at Pikes Peak

Continental GT seeks outright production car record on June 30
Follows Bentley Bentayga record-setting run in 2018
Full race livery is revealed
Race number #100 recognises Bentley’s centenary year
Extensive testing programme continues
(Crewe, 6 June 2019) Bentley Motors is set to attempt to break the outright production car record at the world-renowned Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) with the new Continental GT later this month. The current record and time to beat is 10:26.9.

Last year, the record for a production SUV at Pikes Peak was set by the Bentley Bentayga in a time of 10:49.9 - taking nearly two minutes off the previous record by averaging 66.5 mph.

In Bentley Motors’ centenary year, the spirit of endeavour and desire to push the boundaries of automotive performance remains strong after 100 years of competition. The Continental GT - racing under #100 - equipped with the highly-capable and dynamic W12 engine has undergone extensive testing in order to prepare both car and driver for the record attempt.

Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush, says:

“We have taken much learning from our successful visit to Pikes Peak last year with the Bentley Bentayga and applied it to our preparations this time around. We are proud to demonstrate the Continental GT’s breadth of abilities in competition on a global stage.”

“The extreme conditions of Pikes Peak pose a significant challenge. With the start line being at 9,300ft and climbing to 14,100ft the air is 1/3rd less dense than at sea level. The weather will also play a vital role in the run as 90 degree temperatures and clear skies can change to snow in a matter of minutes. The lack of oxygen will also impact driver Rhys Millen, who will have an on-board oxygen system fed into his helmet to reduce any effect of altitude sickness.”

Former ‘King of the Mountain’ and Pikes Peak veteran Rhys Millen, who will drive the Continental GT during the record attempt, added:

“In the Pikes Peak environment it [Continental GT] really checks every box as the most competitive vehicle you could arm yourself. This is one run, one day of the year. You have to be calm, be focused and process everything that you have to.”

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