Bentley’s much publicized new racing car based on the Continental GT is being readied for its first ever race. The new Bentley Continental GT3 will make its official racing debut in December during 2013 Gulf 12 Hours at Yas Marina circuit, Abu Dhabi.
The Continental GT3 is a very important car for Bentley, as it marks the return of the luxury brand to the world of motorsport after a decade. After their 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans victory, Bentley decided to cease motorsport activities aside for a while and concentrate on making some money. Now that they are in the best shape ever financially, it is only natural for Bentley to try and regain its prominent position at the top of the motorsport tree.
They are taking it slow though, as the Bentley Continental GT3 is going to be the only racing car for now. Joined by technical partner M-Sport, the car will enter the 2014 FIA Blancpain Series, some endurance races here and there, and probably next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. But no LMP1 effort is currently on the agenda. And that, to be honest, is where the prestige is.
The Conti GT3 is powered 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. The car looks kinda amusing in racing overall. They have shaved a lot of weight off it, but the bulk of the thing still makes it look like a fat person in a track suit. Say what you want, it’s a funny sight!
|Continental GT3 Specifications|
|Engine||4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, repositioned to the rear of the engine bay, Cosworth engine management system|
|Power||Approx. 600 bhp derestricted|
|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, Brembo 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|
|Weight Distribution||52 : 48|