Sit Aboard the Bentley Continental GT as it Makes a Devastating Run Up Pikes Peak
This is what it’s like sitting inside a Continental GT that’s setting a record at Pikes Peakby Kirby, on
The Bentley Continental GT came, saw, and conquered. That was the outright narrative last week at the 2019 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb after the Continental GT destroyed the hill climb record for a production car with a ridiculous time of 10:18:448. The Continental GT ran roughshod over the 12.41-mile (19.98-kilometer) course with Rhys Millen behind the wheel. With the “King of the Mountain” taking charge, the Continental GT destroyed the previous record by a whopping 8.4 seconds. That previous record was held by David Donner, who piloted a Porsche 911 Turbo S up the mountain in 2015, finishing with a time of 10:26.8. If you need any more proof of Millen’s record-setting time going up Pikes Peak, Bentley has released the full onboard video of the Continental GT’s lap. There were a few hair-raising moments in the video, but, then again, it was Millen driving the Continental GT. No big deal for that man.
Bentley Continental GT In-Car Footage at Pikes Peak 2019
It’s one thing to watch a car like the Bentley Continental GT break the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb record for production cars from the comforts of home, or even from the site itself. It’s another thing entirely to get a first-hand view at the run, not only from inside the car but from the actual eyes of the driver. This video takes us to that perspective, and it’s equal parts scary and exhilarating.
I’ve watched the video at least six times already — yes, that’s an hour of my life — and it’s time well-spent. From the start, it’s actually jarring to see how difficult it is to be in Rhys Millen’s position. Sure, he doesn’t have to worry about shifting gears, so his hands stay on the wheel the whole time, but you can tell how much of a challenge it is to navigate around all those corners, even for a car that’s supposed to be as refined as the Bentley Continental GT. It’s not like Millen’s driving a 12-mile strip that he has the time to take a sip of his Starbucks latte while he’s driving.
The Pikes Peak course has 156 corners, folks.
That takes a lot of focus, concentration, and all-around racing skills to navigate all those corners at the kind of speed he was driving in.
The degree of difficulty is further compounded by the fact that Millen is driving up a hill, and not a flat circuit. One wrong move and he doesn’t just crash into a tire wall or get stuck in a gravel trap. Safety precautions notwithstanding, there’s a real chance that the Millen and the Continental GT could be in for a world of hurt if the car crashes down the hill. There are a few moments in the video, too, where Millen came close to the edge of the course, proving how challenging the course actually is and the razor-thin margin of error that these drivers have to work with to set the possible times.
|Engine||6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W-12|
|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|
Then again, if there’s anyone that can take a Bentley Continental GT and set a Pikes Peak production car record with it, there are no better choices than the man many call the “King of the Mountain.”
He is the Michael Schumacher of Pikes Peak, the go-to-guy when you want someone to drive your car and set a record with it.
Millen’s time with the Continental GT isn’t the first time he’s set a record for Bentley at Pikes Peak. Last year, he drove a production-spec Bentayga SUV up Pikes Peak and finished wit a time of 10:49.9, destroying the previous record held by Paul Dallenbach, who set the previous SUV record in 2014 when he completed of 12:35.6 in a Range Rover Sport. Granted, a Range Rover Sport is no match for a 600-plus horsepower Bentayga, but the discrepancy in lap times — almost two minutes! — is jarring, to say the least. Millen’s skills at Pikes Peak isn’t contingent on driving Bentleys, too. He also set the course record for battery-powered cars in 2015 when he drove a Drive eO PP01 electric race car to a time of 9:07.222. Three years earlier, Millen piloted a Hyundai Genesis Coupe to a then-record 9:46.164 time, tops among all race cars. At this point, Millen is well on his way to owning just about every Pikes Peak record there is.
Two of those records now belong to Bentley, and the British automaker is well within it’s right to flaunt them all the time. It’s hard to imagine that, of all the automakers in the world, it’s Bentley that holds the production car and SUV records at the Pike Peak International Hill Climb. Then again, this is the kind of world we live in now. Bentley is no longer a strict purveyor of some of the most luxurious cars you’ll ever see on the road. The British automaker has performance muscles, too. If you didn’t know it then or you refused to acknowledge it, you might as well do it now.
The Bentley Continental GT’s record-setting lap time at the 2019 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is all sorts of impressive. What better way to see how all of it unfolds than to watch it from a driver’s eye view? Trust me; it’s worth the next 10 minutes of your life.
|2017||Clint Vahsholtz||2013 Ford Open||9:35.747|
|2018||Romain Dumas||Volkswagen I.D. R[note 1]||7:57.148|
|2018||David Donohue||2017 Porsche 911 GT3 R||9:37.152|
|2018||Peter Cunningham||2018 Acura TLX GT||9:27.352|
|2018||Travis Pastrana||2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport||10:33.897|
|Electric||Modified||2018||Romain Dumas||Volkswagen I.D. R||7:57.148|
|Production||2016||Blake Fuller||2016 Tesla Model S P90D||11:48.264|
|Diesel||Exhibition||2015||Uwe Nittel||2016 Mercedes Benz C300 d 4 MATIC||11:37.149|
|Natural Gas||Open Wheel||1993||Johnnie Rogers||Wells-Coyote||11:50.090|
|Propane||Exhibition/PPO||2012||Randy Schranz||2012 Shelby Cobra||11:11.218|
|Turbine||Open Rally||1981||Steve Bolan||Bolan-Allison||15:27.180|
|Hybrid||Time Attack 1||2018||James Robinson||2017 Acura NSX||10:02.448|
Read our full review on the 2019 Bentley Continental GT Pikes Peak #100.
Read our full review on the 2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible.
Read our full review on the 2018 Bentley Continental GT.