Ever since Bentley came out with the surprising yet impressive Continental GT3 concept racer, we have been waiting anxiously for this specimen to come to life. And we were more than excited when Bentley actually debuted the track-going car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and even made a few runs.
Since there is nothing stopping the car from hitting the track, the Continental GT3 is scheduled to make its competitive debut on December 13th, at the 2013 Gulf 12 Hours happening in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit. With this GT3 entry, the race will mark Bentley’s first return to the motorsport scene after a decade of absence – the last one would be their attempt in conquering the challenging 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003.
Bentley has tirelessly developing and testing the car, even after its debut at Goodwood. “The car has performed extremely well so far, and has matched or exceeded our simulations in every aspect. With 3000km of testing completed already, the team is very pleased with the progress and we are gaining confidence in our package”, said Brian Gush, Bentley’s Director of Motorsports.
From being a road-going, all-wheel drive Continental GT V8, the car has gone through massive changes into being a proper GT3 racer. All the power is now sent to the rear tires, the twin-turbo V8 has been upgraded with a dry-sump oiling system, maximum unrestricted output is now 600-horsepower and given a Cosworth engine management system. The gearbox has also been swapped with an Xtrac six-speed sequential with pneumatic shifting, not to forget the necessary safety measures was taken to fit he car into FIA’s specs. Overall, the car managed to lose almost 1,000kgs, with the race car weighing less than 1,300kgs.