Motorsport is an essential part of the development of the automobile and the testing of the limits of man and machine. In the world of motorsport, Pikes Peak is one of the toughest and most demanding forms of racing. It’s an icon on the American motorsport calendar and has a large fan base. The international ascent to Pikes Peak is famous all over the world and over 100 different competitors are trying their luck and their limits.
Unlike other forms of motorsport, Pikes Peak isn’t a purpose-built track, and that means it is perhaps the toughest test for any racing car. Bentley was a regular at “The Race to the Clouds” and previously won the “Series Car” and “Series SUV” records with the Continental GT and the Bentayga W12.
This time, however, the new Continental GT3 Pikes Peak racing driver would sip renewable fuel. With the aim of setting the Time Attack 1 record, the GT3 Racer runs on biofuel and is the first competition, Bentley, to run on renewable fuel. This fits well with Bentley’s commitment to be the leader in sustainable luxury mobility and only offer BEVs by 2030. The modified Continental GT3 racer will try to break records as he devours the 12.42 mile route.
To hit the new record, the car must start an arduous climb of nearly 5,000 feet, including 156 corners, at an average speed of more than 100 km / h to cross the finish line in less than nine minutes and 36 seconds cross. As already mentioned, Pikes Peak presents the racing cars with challenges. Here the route climbs from 9,300 feet to 14,100 feet with a starting line. Note that the air at this point is 1/3 less dense than at sea level.
To deal with all of this Bentley modified the Continental GT3 Pikes Peak Racer with a new aerodynamic package and of course overhauled the engine. As a result, it carries the largest rear wing ever mounted on a Bentley, and it does so above a huge rear diffuser that surrounds the gearbox of the transmission. This rear aerodynamic package also has a two-level splitter on the front that has separate dive planes. It looks incredible, with a real focus stemming from its pure racing DNA, and is for sure the most radical Bentley of all time.
The engine was developed by Bentley’s racing unit and is based on the 4.0-liter turbo V8 of the Continental GT V8. It has been modified so that it can run on biofuel plus and also work at such altitudes. A shot side exhaust has also been set up for a dramatic soundtrack to match its extreme appearance.
Other modifications include cooling air scoops in place of the rear windows and the mandatory stopwatch attached to the roll cage next to the steering wheel so Rhys Millen can keep track of his sector times on the mountain. Yes, Bentley will have the same racer who helped him set the previous two records.
Bentley is currently testing the car, preparing it for future altitude tests and preparing it before competing in the race on June 27, 2021. This is by far the most challenging record Bentley is aiming for, and that includes driving the car on renewable fuel. However, this shows that motorsport is paving the way for future automotive technology development and possible solutions. Bentley is also working on biofuels and e-fuels, as well as electric vehicles for its range of on-road vehicles, and this Pikes Peak program will no doubt provide vital data on biofuel performance in extreme climates.