The Bentley Continental GT Just Kicked The Porsche 911 Turbo’s Ass Up Pikes Peak
The 2019 Bentley Continental GT just became the quickest production car on the iconic Pikes Peak course. A stock version of the British grand tourer completed the 2019 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, with three-time champion Rhys Millen at the wheel, in 10:18.488 minutes. That’s a whopping eight seconds quicker than the previous record that was set by a 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S.
2019 Bentley Continental GT Pikes Peak #100
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."
2018 Bentley Continental GT3
Bentley has just introduced the third-generation Continental GT, which rides on a new platform (shared with the Porsche Panamera), uses a new W-12 engine, and employs design cues from the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car. Just like its predecessor, the new Conti GT is set to gain a range of versions, including a V-8-powered and higher performance Speed and Supersports variants. But while these are still under development, the new Continental GT has already made its public debut in motorsport clothes. Meet the second-generation Continental GT3, developed to replace the first-gen race car after four successful years on the race track.
Slated to hit the motorsport scene for the 2018 season, the new Continental GT3 uses the aluminum structure of the road car and most of its design cues. But much like its predecessor, its lighter, tipping the scales at "significantly less" than 2,866 pounds, and features a more aerodynamic body. The new Conti GT3 has big shoes to fill — the first-gen car scored 120 podiums and 45 wins across 528 races — and will attempt to do so starting with the opening round of the 2018 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup at Monza in April. Meanwhile, let’s have a closer look at what it brings to the table.
Continue reading to learn more about the Bentley Continental GT3.
Bentley Continental 24 Special Edition
Rolls-Royce may have grabbed the headlines in recent weeks with all the special edition models it’s been unveiling, but rival Bentley is proving itself to be up-to-the-task with the release of its own special edition model. It’s called the Bentley Continental 24 and it’s a tribute to Bentley Motorsport’s entry to the Nürburgring 24 Hours where it hopes to build off of the success it’s had in the last two years since returning to one of the world’s most grueling endurance races.
The special edition Continental is based on the range-topping Supersports variants. While it doesn’t have any engine enhancements to speak of, its status as the fastest model Bentley has ever created more than speaks for itself. So, in the absence of upgrades to its massive 6.0-liter twin-turbo W-12 engine, the defining features of the Continental 24 rests on its exterior and interior where plenty of inspiration was taken from Bentley’s motorsport themes. The car also holds the distinction of being one of the few limited edition models that have its own options to choose from, thus making it even more limited. Bentley also said it plans to cap production of the limited edition Continental 24 coupe to an obvious number of 24 units, with each model fetching a base price of €250,000 or about $280,000 based on current exchange rates.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Bentley Continental 24
Chris Harris Returns to Racing with Bentley
Although he is mostly famous for his cool car reviews and entertaining videos, Chris Harris is also a racing driver. And a pretty good one if I might add, having driven a wide variety of race cars, including the Porsche 911 Carrera Cup and Aston Martin Vantage GT12, and having scored a fourth place finish at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring in 2010. His last major event, the 2015 24 Hours of Nurburgring, didn’t end well, as Harris had to retire, but the British journalist isn’t giving up and will return to the race track in 2016.
This time around, Harris will drive a Bentley Continental GT3 in the Blancpain Endurance Series Cup. Chris has joined Parker Racing, a team he has previously raced for, and will compete in all five rounds for the 2016 season in the Am Cup class, a division for amateur racers. Harris will team up with Chris Cooper and Derek Pierce against stiff competition from teams using cars like the Audi R8 LMS, Ferrari 458 GT3, and Porsche 911 GT3-R.
The new Top Gear host will pilot one of the four Continental GT3s competing in this year’s Blancpain Endurance Series Cup.
"This is a bit of a pinch yourself moment,” he commented. “If, last year, you’d asked me what my dream 2016 race season would be it would have involved a Bentley Continental GT3, Stuart Parker and my good friend and long-time team mate Chris Cooper. And now it’s happened! The GT3 category is the most interesting, varied form of circuit racing out there and I think that with Chris [Cooper] and Derek Pierce we have a very good team to attack the Am championship. I just need to remember that the big oversteer is for the Top Gear cameras, not the race track."
Harris’ debut race with Bentley takes place on April 24th at the 3 Hours of Monza. The season includes four more races: 3 Hours of Silverstone (May 15), 1000k at Paul Ricard (June 25), 24 Hours of Spa (July 30), and 3 Hours of Nurburgring (September 18).
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Bentley Rumored to Return to Endurance Racing LMP2 Prototype
Bentley could return to racing in the prototype league by the end of the decade. That’s the word from Autocar, which claims that the British carmaker is secretly working on a new LMP2-spec race car that would mark the brand’s return to prototype endurance racing for the first time since it won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003.
Even though Bentley didn’t confirm the new LMP2 program, company boss Wolfgang Durheimer reportedly described it as "a good idea which we are looking at closely." On the other hand, he did say that 2019 would be "too late" to return to racing, which means that Bentley’s new prototype could be ready in time for the 2017 or 2018 season.
Asked whether Bentley was considering a return to the top LMP1 category, Durheimer said that such a program would be "too expensive and too complicated." This statement may have something to do with the fact that Audi and Porsche, both under the Volkswagen Group umbrella, are already battling for supremacy in that class. Given its current troubled times due to the "Dieselgate" scandal, it’s safe to assume that VW isn’t too keen on spending a serious amount of money on a third LMP1 team.
The LMP2 car, on the other hand, would be less expensive to develop. To be built to the new LMP2 regulations that come into force in 2017, the new car won’t be designed from scratch. The new rules mandate that all teams use one of four nominated chassis from constructors such as Dallara and Oreca, leaving Bentley only in charge of aerodynamics and drivetrain.
Speaking of which, Durheimer confirmed that Bentley will use its own engine that "will be taken from what we already have." Given Bentley’s current lineup, the most likely candidate is the twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 used in the Continental GT and other vehicles. The powerplant pumps out up to 626 horsepower in the current road-going vehicles, so extracting a similar output from a race-spec unit shouldn’t be an issue.
Continue reading for the full story.
In 1930, Bentley was a seriously dominant force in motorsports. The company had won most of the runnings of the 24 Hours of Le Mans up to that point, thanks in large part to the big “Bentley Blower” race cars. The cars packed big power from their supercharged engines, but were still very easy to control. So when Tim Birkin, fresh off his own Le Mans win in 1929, decided to take on Alfa Romeo’s dominance of the Mille Miglia, spirits were high at Bentley. It was believed that Birkin would easily win the thousand-mile endurance race, but a lack of “due preparation” meant that he never even started the race.
Now, 85 years later, it seems that the missed opportunity is still bothering a few people at Bentley, because Richard Charlesworth —Bentley’s Director of Royal and VIP Relations- will pilot a 1930, 4 ½-liter Bentley Blower at Mille Miglia over the course of 4 days. It’s not the same No. 2 “Birkin Blower” which failed to start the race in 1930, but it is a period-correct machine, easily verifiable as the most successful race car in the company’s history.
Continue reading for the full story.
Bentley is planning to field a factory team at the Nurburgring 24 Hours next year. The British automaker will tackle the famed endurance event using its Continental GT3 race car. The announcement comes ahead of the 2014 race this weekend.
Bentley revealed that it is also considering other endurance races in 2015, but the automaker declined to get too deep in the detail. The Brits did, however, confirm that the Bentley Continental GT3 will take part in the Blancplain Endurance Series in 2015, most likely with a two-car lineup. What’s more, Bentley Motorsport will extend the Continental GT3 program to include several customer teams.
In the meantime, the Continental GT3 will face its first official 24-hour test in the upcoming 24 Hours of Spa on July 27th. The race will take place at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and is the fourth event of the 2014 Blancplain Endurance Series.
Click past the jump to read more about Bentley Continental GT3.
Bentley unveiled the GT3 Concept car at the 2012 Paris Auto Show and now the production version made its world debut at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed in Sussex, England.
The model continues from where the concept left, but it looks a little bit more aggressive and more track-ready. When compared to a base Continental GT, the new GT3 racer is about 2,200 pounds lighter and combined with the powerful engine found under the hood, you will get a real monster on the race track.
The new Continental GT3 will enter its first development races before starting full competition in the FIA Blancpain Series in 2014. Until then it will run the famous Goodwood Festival of Speed hill climb, piloted twice a day by Bentley Boy and 2003 Le Mans champion, Guy Smith.
Updated 07/12/2013: The production version Continental GT3 made its world debut today at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Updated 11/15/2013: Bentley unveiled a new video showing the development process behind the new Continental GT3 racer. The video comes just a few days before the car’s debut at Yas Marina circuit in December 2013.
Updated 01/07/2014: Bentley unveiled a new video showing the new Continental GT3 Race Car in action at the Gulf 12 Hours, held at the famous Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.
Click past the jump to read more about the Bentley Continental GT3 Race Car.
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.
Bentley has been rumored to be preparing a comeback to the racing circuits for quite some time. Those rumors will be put to rest in just a few hours when the Paris Auto Show opens its doors and we are introduced to the Continental GT3 Concept specially designed for the FIA GT3 European Championship. The future race car will be racing in the 24-hour marathons starting 2013 and will be joining the circuit to tackle the likes of Alpina, Aston Martin, and Porsche.
The Continental GT3 Concept will be based off of the Continental GT Speed. It will be powered by a W12 engine, but unlike the road-going version, it will be much lighter. In fact, the car needs to undergo a significant drop in weight considering its rivals in this category only weigh about 2,755 lbs. By comparison, the standard Continental GT Speed weighs an agonizing 5,478 lbs. The luxury racer will also feature a rear-wheel drive chassis in accordance with the regulations, state-of-the-art motorsport hardware, and a comprehensive aerodynamic package
The vehicle would have to drop all of its luxurious features found in the standard model’s interior and adopt a full race cage and carbon fiber shell seats to participate in these races. The large rear wing and front bumper will be made of carbon fiber and the entire body will consist of lightweight materials.
Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, stated: "The clear message from our customers is that Bentley belongs on the racetrack, and the Continental GT3 is the realisation of a dream we’ve had ever since the launch of the Continental GT. The new GT Speed is the perfect car for us to develop into a racer, and our work so far has shown huge potential. The Continental GT3 is set to show the world what the Continental GT is capable of in its most extreme form, and establishes a solid foundation for Bentley’s long-term motorsport plans."
UPDATE 10/16/12: A few weeks after unveiling the Bentley Continental GT3 Concept at the Paris Motor Show, Bentley has released a new promo video of the concept racer, showing it’s "transformation" from luxury sports car to all-conquering race car. Check it out by clicking on the photo above!