The Gentleman Racer

17 Dec

Bentley Continental GT3 Race Car

Bentley Continental GT3 Race Car

It’s a big machine, but in GT3 guise, I gotta admit, it’s a looker.

Designed and built in conjunction with , the bulky coupe goes on Atkins, sheds 2200 lbs (not a typo), and has starting it’s resurgence to sports car racing. Bentley’s last foray was in the early 2000’s, with it’s highly successful Le Mans program. Sports car racing is at a zenith throughout the world, with a variety of series being successfully sponsored and marketed. It’s no secret – wealthy guys often go racing. Wealthy guys are Bentley’s customer base, and by going racing, they expand an niche brand beyond the country club and Drake videos.

Specs on the beast:

Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, repositioned to the rear of the engine bay, Motorsport engine management system
Max Power: Up to 600 bhp unrestricted
Oil System: Dry sump
Transmission: Rear wheel drive, Xtrac six-speed sequential transaxle gearbox, racing clutch, steering wheel mounted paddle operated pneumatic gear shift
Drivetrain: Carbon fibre propshaft, limited slip differential
Suspension: Double wishbone suspension front and rear, four-way adjustable racing dampers
Steering: Hydraulic power-assisted steering
Brakes: Ventilated iron disc brakes front and rear, six-piston front calipers, four-piston rear calipers, driver-adjustable brake bias
Safety: FIA-specification steel roll cage, Sparco six-point FIA safety harness, onboard fire extinguisher, onboard pneumatic jack system
Fuel: System FIA-specification racing fuel cell
Electronics: Race-specification ABS and traction control. Lightweight race battery
Wheels: OZ Racing 18” x 13” rims
Tyres: 310 / 710 R18
Aerodynamics: Carbon fibre front splitter, rear wing and body panels. Lightweight, aerodynamically-optimised bumpers, bonnet, sills and fenders
Length: 4950 mm
Width: 2030 mm
Height: 1350 mm
Weight: <1300 kg
Weight Distribution: 52 : 48

Their first outing was this past weekend in Abu Dhabi, and they finished 4th in the 12 hour race at . It’s competition were cars you usually think of in endurance racing: Ferrari 458’s, Mercedes SLS, McClaren’s 12C, Porsche GT3. Rarefied air indeed. The official season for the new “Bentley Boys” drivers Guy Smith, Steven Kane and Andy Meyrick begins in April at the legendary as part of the . Will we see a Bentley at Le Mans again? Time will tell.

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