To break the record, the car will have to complete the nearly 5,000 ft climb, which includes 156 corners, at an average speed of more than 126 kmph to cross the finish line in less than nine minutes and 36 seconds.


The Bentley Continental GT3 Pikes Peak is the most extreme road-going Bentley ever built.
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The Bentley Continental GT3 Pikes Peak is the most extreme road-going Bentley ever built.

Bentley’s Continental GT3 Pikes Peak racer is undergoing final preparations for the world’s most demanding and famous hill climb competition – Pikes Peak. Having completed three dynamic test sessions and renewable fuel engine development, the Bentley Continental GT3 Pikes Peak is the most extreme road-going Bentley ever built.

For its assault on Pikes Peak on June 27, the car will run on renewable fuel, initiating a research and development programme that aims to offer renewable fuels to Bentley customers in parallel to Bentley’s electrification programme. From the start line at 9,300 ft, the course climbs to 14,100 ft – where the air is a third less dense than at sea level. This environment means that the Continental GT3 Pikes Peak features modifications to its aerodynamics package, its chassis and its engine.

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From the start line at 9,300 ft, the course climbs to 14,100 ft – where the air is a third less dense than at sea level.

The engine – based on Bentley’s race-proven version of its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 road car engine – has been thoroughly reworked to generate more than 750 bhp and 1,000 Nm at sea level for testing – and the engine will run even higher power levels for the race itself. The carbon fibre intake manifold is thicker and reinforced versus the standard item, for the same reason. Custom, one-off titanium exhaust manifolds have been 3D-printed via laser sintering by Akrapovic, and lead to larger turbos paired with external wastegates, venting into very short exhausts and dedicated screamer pipes that exit behind the front wheels.

The engine runs on 98RON Renewable Racing Fuel. The fuel is a dedicated blend of advanced biofuels specifically designed for motorsport, and is a technological stepping stone to sustainably-created eFuel with a greenhouse gas reduction of up to 85 per cent.

The high performance engine places additional demands on the cooling system, and for Pikes Peak the engineering team have developed a secondary cooling system that’s installed at the back of the car. Air scoops replace the rear windows, and channel air through a secondary radiator that exhausts through ducts in the boot lid. The system runs via a dedicated secondary water pump.

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The chassis has been set up and tuned to suit the specific nature of the Pikes Pikes course.

The gearbox is Bentley’s standard racing unit, already designed to handle the torque loads involved, but rear driveshaft diameter has been increased to provide additional durability. The gearbox runs a specially-formulated lubricant created specifically for the car by Mobil1, who have also supplied high-performance oil for the engine.

The chassis has been set up and tuned to suit the specific nature of the Pikes Pikes course. Both front and rear axles run significantly reduced camber to the standard Continental GT3 setup, focusing the car on low-speed cornering performance. The softest springs and anti-roll bars from Bentley’s range have been fitted, to allow more movement in the body and so maximise weight transfer for braking. The brakes themselves are water-cooled, to handle the increased loads that an all-out attack on the course will bring.

The aerodynamic modifications sees a 30 per cent increase in overall downforce at sea level, while maintaining the standard car’s aerodynamic front / rear balance – validated during the first track sessions. The biggest rear wing ever fitted to a Bentley dominates the rear of the car, sitting above a highly efficient rear diffuser that surrounds the transaxle gearbox. To maintain the aerodynamic balance front-to-rear, these devices are paired with a comprehensive front-end aerodynamic package comprising a two-plane front splitter flanked by separate dive planes. The majority of these parts were made with carbon nylon filament using rapid prototype, additive manufacturing techniques at the Bentley factory in Crewe.

The car is now resplendent in its race livery, which combines the black-and-gold theme of Roger Clark Motorsport (that runs the car in the UK) with Bentley’s instantly-recognisable Pikes Peak mountain graphic that featured on the Pikes Peak variants of the Bentayga and Continental GT.

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The engine runs on 98RON Renewable Racing Fuel, which is a dedicated blend of advanced biofuels specifically designed for motorsport,

Bentley’s pinnacle Pikes Peak project – its bid for the third and final part of a triple crown – is being run in conjunction with British Continental GT3 customer team Fastr, who have successfully campaigned their Bentley race car in time attack competitions across the country. Technical teams from Bentley and Fastr have worked together with specialists from M-Sport in Cumbria to extract the maximum possible performance from the Continental GT3 package, which will be run in Colorado by the same team.

To break the record, the car will have to complete the nearly 5,000 ft climb, which includes 156 corners, at an average speed of more than 126 kmph to cross the finish line in less than nine minutes and 36 seconds. Three-time Pikes Peak champion Rhys Millen returns to drive the car.

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The Continental GT3 Pikes Peak continues its final testing and development activities over the next two weeks.

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