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BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT3 

  • Continental GT3 unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed
  • 600 bhp 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 for 1300 kg racer
  • GT3 to drive the Goodwood hill-climb twice a day

Continental GTR400x(Crewe / Goodwood, 12th July 2013) Bentley debuts its new Continental GT3 race car at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed today, unveiling a racing machine set to explore the extreme potential of Bentley’s iconic Grand Tourer, the Continental GT. Member of the Board for Engineering, Rolf Frech, comments: “The Continental GT3 exploits the incredible performance beneath the skin of every Continental GT. We’ve removed over 1000 kilograms of weight, reconfigured our 4.0-litre V8 to produce 600 bhp in race specification, and developed a comprehensive aerodynamic package to ensure that we perform competitively. We are now looking forward to getting the car on the track and proving its potential.”

The Continental GT3 is powered by a race-prepared and dry-sump version of Bentley’s powerful but efficient 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, with many components carried over from the road-going engine. Developing up to 600 bhp in unrestricted race configuration via a motorsport engine management system, the V8 provides the GT3 with highly competitive power in a compact and lightweight package that’s perfect for racing. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels via a carbon fibre propshaft to an Xtrac six-speed sequential gearbox with a limited slip differential, mounted as a transaxle for optimised weight distribution. Gear actuations are completed via a pneumatic shift system, controlled by paddles mounted to the steering wheel.

A double wishbone suspension configuration front and rear, fitted with four-way adjustable racing dampers, replaces the standard road-car air springs. The steering system features hydraulic power-assistance, while braking is via ventilated iron discs combined with six-piston calipers on the front and four-piston calipers on the rear.

The exterior of the car features a comprehensive aerodynamic package, to maximise downforce with optimised drag. A top-mounted carbon fibre rear wing provides rear downforce and stability, while a carbon fibre splitter balances the aerodynamic forces at the front of the car. Revisions have been made to the bonnet, bumpers, fenders and sills in order to optimise the car’s drag coefficient and to assist with engine cooling.

With the removal of the leather and wood interior trim, the production electrical systems and advanced refinement materials that make the Continental GT such a capable Grand Tourer, the Continental GT3 weighs in under its target of 1300 kg. Despite the race-specification, the GT3 remains a hand-crafted Bentley, with the steering wheel, door pulls and seat all hand-trimmed and stitched by Bentley craftspeople at Crewe.

The design has been completed by a specialist team of engineers from Bentley Motors supported by the Continental GT3 Technical Partner, M-Sport Ltd1. Managed from a dedicated motorsport facility base at Bentley’s Crewe factory, an additional design office was created at M-Sport for the detail design stages and build of the first car.

The Continental GT3 now starts its programme of developmental track work, focussing on optimising the car’s performance based on simulations and refining the car’s abilities. Once homologation with the FIA has been completed, the GT3 will enter its first development races before starting full competition in the FIA Blancpain Series in 2014.

The Continental GT3 makes its official running debut on the famous Goodwood Festival of Speed Hillclimb from Friday 12th July until Sunday 14th, piloted twice a day by Bentley Boy and 2003 Le Mans champion, Guy Smith. The car will also be on display in the F1 paddock, while the original Continental GT3 Concept Racer, unveiled at the Paris Auto Salon last September, can be seen inside the Bentley stand in the main paddock.

  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, Mobil 1TM synthetic motor oil2
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
Length 4950 mm
Width 2030 mm
Height 1350 mm
Weight <1300 kg
Weight Distribution 52 : 48

 

  1. The first GT3 car is being built by the Bentley motorsport team in conjunction with M-Sport. The Bentley GT3 team is led by Bentley Motorsport Chief Designer Graham Humphrys and M-Sport’s Chief Engineer, Christian Loriaux. M-Sport was originally formed in 1979, and in 1994 M-Sport won national rally titles in Italy, Portugal, the Middle East and Britain, the latter with founder Malcolm Wilson himself behind the wheel. Since 1996, M-Sport has run Ford’s WRC campaigns, including winning two FIA World Rally Championships in 2006 and 2007.
  2. The Continental GT3 project is proud to be working with ExxonMobil, who have joined the team as a key sponsor. Bentley engineers carefully selected every component involved with the race program, and the choice of motor oil was no exception. With proven success in motorsports and a track record of helping bring home championships, Mobil 1 was an obvious choice. The race-configured version of Bentley’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine will be filled with Mobil 1™ synthetic motor oil, to ensure maximum engine protection and performance in the gruelling environment of endurance racing.
  3. Bentley Motors employs around 4,000 people in Crewe which is home to all its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production. The combination of fine craftsmanship, using skills that have been handed down through generations, alongside engineering expertise and cutting-edge technology is unique to UK luxury vehicle manufacturers such as Bentley. It is also an example of high-value British manufacturing at its best. Bentley exports over £1bn worth of goods in 2012.  The company is the third largest R&D investor in the UK's automotive sector and the 18th largest nationally.

 

  • M-Sport Bentley set for Blancpain Endurance race at Silverstone
  • Team targets another strong finish after learnings from opening round
  • First Works-associated Bentley racing in the UK for over 80 years

(Crewe, 16th May 2014) M-Sport Bentley creates another piece of racing history next weekend as the team prepares to return factory-affiliated Bentleys to a British racetrack for the first time in over 80 years. Looking to build on the strong finish and learnings from the opening round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Monza in April, M-Sport Bentley will field two Continental GT3s driven by the six modern-day Bentley Boys at the Silverstone circuit.

With practice sessions on Saturday 24th May, and qualifying and the three-hour race following on Sunday 25th, the Silverstone round marks the return of Bentley Motorsport to the British Isles since the RAC Tourist Trophy race at Ards near Belfast on 23rd August 1930. In a race won by the legendary Tazio Nuvolari, the highest-placed Bentley finished 11th. Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush, is hoping for a better result at Silverstone:

“The team has come a long way since the first race. As a new team, we learnt a great deal over the race weekend at Monza and we’ve had time to work on every area for improvement. We’re expecting the Continental GT3 to be well-suited to the long, fast corners of Silverstone so I’m hopeful of another strong finish in the points.”

Bentley Boy Duncan Tappy, who shares the #8 Continental GT3 with Jérôme D’Ambrosio and Antoine Leclerc, comments:

“We’re definitely looking to improve on our 7th place finish from Monza. The team has worked incredibly hard on every detail of our race operation to give us the best chance of success, and I can’t wait to take the car racing in our home country. We’re expecting a good crowd, and particularly a large turnout from the Bentley factory in Crewe. It’s a real honour to be one of the drivers bringing Bentley back to racing in the UK again.”

The sister #7 Continental GT3 will once again be piloted by the all-British team of Guy Smith, Steven Kane and Andy Meyrick. They finished one place behind #8 at Monza, and the team is hoping to raise the bar at their home track. Andy Meyrick comments:

“The Silverstone race weekend is set to be really exciting for us as a team. If the car is fast here, it’ll give us real confidence for the rest of the season. Racing in the UK in any car is always fantastic – to do it in a Bentley makes it incredibly special. We really want to give the British fans something to cheer about.”

M-Sport Bentley’s progress over the weekend can be followed at @BentleyComms, where live updates will be posted from the track, while Motors TV will provide live television coverage.

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