Bentley Continental GT3
When you think of Bentley images of a soft luxury vehicle probably come to mind. However, the British car maker has a successful racing heritage dating back to the 1920s. More recently, the company has become more of a full luxury vehicle maker that isn’t big on performance. At least that was until this changed with the release of the Continental GT and now they are looking to get back to their racing roots.
The last successful Bentley race car dominated the 24 Hours of Le Mans ten years ago. The Continental GT is the base for the new endurance racing car that will compete in many races, the first of which will be the 2013 Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi on December 13th, 2013. The Bentley Continental GT3 made its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July and now will compete for the first time in an endurance race.
Let us know how you think the Bentley Continental GT3 will do in its racing debut.
Bentley’s new Continental GT3 race car makes its competitive debut at the 2013 Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi on 13th December 2013. The two-part endurance race test at the stunning Yas Marina circuit marks Bentley’s return to motorsport ten years after its dominant win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003. Since then, the return of Bentley to the racetrack has been eagerly awaited, and now the Continental GT3 is set to show the performance capabilities of Bentley’s renowned Continental GT in its most extreme form.
Since the GT3’s dynamic debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, Bentley’s new race car has begun an intensive programme of performance, setup and durability testing at tracks across Europe. The car has run exactly according to the expectations of a Bentley, having proven to be both reliable and fast in all conditions. Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush, comments: “The car has performed extremely well so far, and has matched or exceeded our simulations in every respect. With 3000 km of testing completed already, the team is very pleased with progress and we’re gaining confidence in our package. We’re all looking forward to the Gulf 12 Hours in December and can’t wait to run the car against the competition for the first time in its first test race.”
Powered by a race-prepared and dry-sump version of Bentley’s powerful but efficient road-going 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 producing up to 600 bhp in unrestricted race configuration, and with the instantly-recognisable shape of the Continental GT, the GT3 is a true member of the Continental family. Alongside its racing ambitions, the GT3 retains luxury Grand Tourer roots, with its steering wheel, carbon racing seat and leather door-pulls all trimmed and stitched by hand by the craftsmen and women at the Bentley factory in Crewe.
Following highly successful teamwork in the design stage, testing and development is being run by a specialist team comprising engineers both from Bentley and the Continental GT3 Technical Partner, M-Sport Ltd. Managed from a dedicated motorsport facility base at the Bentley factory, the car is being run by M-Sport in preparation for a full entry in the 2014 FIA Blancpain Series as Team M-Sport Bentley.