Bentley to contest Pikes Peak with extreme Continental GT3

Bentley will mount a factory assault on this year's Pikes Peak hillclimb with the most extreme version of its Continental GT3 racer ever built.

Bentley to contest Pikes Peak with extreme Continental GT3

The bid on the Time Attack 1 class for production-based machinery at the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb on June 27 will be made under the Bentley Motorsport banner by 2015 event winner Rhys Millen, son of former course record holder Rod.

Renewable biofuel will power the Continental in line with Bentley's Beyond100 strategy, under which it aims to become the world's leading sustainable luxury automotive brand.

The Pikes Peak entry in the USA is the first official Bentley motorsport campaign since the end last year of its factory race programme with M-Sport, which developed both generations of the Continental GT3.

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Development of the Pikes Peak Continental is being undertaken by Bentley Motorsport at company headquarters in Crewe, M-Sport and British Time Attack team FastR, which works in conjunction with Roger Clark Motorsport.

The car incorporates heavily revised aerodynamics, including a giant rear wing and a new front splitter, and an uprated version of the GT3 version's four-litre twin-turbo V8 powerplant.

Pikes Peak Bentley Continental GT3

Pikes Peak Bentley Continental GT3

Photo by: Bentley

Bentley has yet to reveal a power output for the car, but it has stated that it is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 85 percent.

The operation running the car at Pikes Peak in Colorado will be bolstered by the the K-Pax squad, which has raced Bentleys with factory assistance in GT World Challenge events in the USA and Europe, and Rhys Millen's own organisation.

Bentley's target is to add a third class record to the ones claimed by Millen in the past two editions of the hillclimb at Pikes Peak.

He took the Production SUV record in 2018 with a Bentayga W12 and then the Production Car record in 2019 with a Continental GT.

Last year's event was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matthias Rabe, the Bentley board member responsible for engineering, said: “We are delighted to be returning to Pikes Peak for a third time, now powered by renewable fuel, as the launch project for another new element of our Beyond100 programme.

"The Continental GT3 Pikes Peak will show that renewable fuels can allow motorsport to continue in a responsible way, and hopefully it will capture the third and final record in our triple crown.”

Bentley Motorsport boss Paul Williams last year outlined an intention for the marque to remain involved in motorsport beyond the life of the GT3 programme.

He named Formula E and the Le Mans Hypercar division in the World Endurance Championship among "four or five" opportunities under evaluation that fitted with the Beyond100 plan, which is named in reference to Bentley's 100th anniversary in 2019.

Pikes Peak Bentley Continental GT3

Pikes Peak Bentley Continental GT3

Photo by: Bentley

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Series GT
Author Gary Watkins