Bentley, fulfilling its promise, raced its all new Continental GT3 racing car on the 12th of July, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The iconic car was seen racing in its full glory at the Hill Climb event. The man behind the steering wheel was none other than Guy Smith, 2003 Le Mans Champion.
Bentley Motors limited, is a world renowned manufacturer of luxurious sports cars. It was established in the year 1919 only to be sold to Rolls Royce in the year 1931 and then to Volkswagen AG 1998 which owns Bentley till date.
The initial GT Continental was launched by Bentley in the year 2003. It has released various variants of the car from coupe to convertible to various sports versions. The company launched GT Speed in the year 2007 which was a mighty vehicle with a power of 592 bhp. This was followed by GTC Speed in the year 2011. This was followed by a Continental GT Speed which was unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show and made its first debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last year. Now it is the Continental GT3 that has made its debut at the Goodwood Festival this year and as expected from Bentley, it is a wonder car.
The car is powered by an efficient V8 twin turbo engine with a 4 litre capacity that is located behind the engine bay in this model. It is equipped with a Carbon- Fiber propshaft which offers a rear wheel drive. The engine has been coupled with a high performance gear box called Xtrac 6 speed sequential which offers a low slip differential. Its transaxle position offers a great weight distribution. The paddles on the steering wheel control the pneumatic shift that actuates the car gear box. All this has made the car highly powerful with an output of 600bhp.
The car has an optimized weight distribution of 52-48. The car is exceptionally good at the corners due to double wishbone suspensions located at both the ends of the car. The air springs of the standard model have been replaced with 4 way adjustable dampers. The driving system is accompanied by a hydraulic power assist and the braking system is handled by iron discs located on the wheels. The OZ racing wheels are 18 inches in diameter. The car also has a 6 piston caliper in the front and a 4 piston caliper in the back.
Continental GT3 is also loaded with an aerodynamics package which optimizes car drag at high speed. It has a carbon fiber wing in the rear and a carbon fiber splitter in the front, both offering stability to the car. The bonnet, fenders, sills and bumpers have all been redesigned to add to the drag coefficient. Inspite of all the revisions, the car weighs around 1300 kg only. This is almost 1,000 kg less than the earlier model. This light weight, thanks to great engineering, is an added benefit for Continental GT3 on any race track.
GT3 is also a handcrafted model. The door pull, seats as well the steering wheel are hand stitched by the workers in Crewe. Rolf Frech who is a Member of the Board for Engineering said that “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.”
Bentley will commence with its developmental work to enhance car’s performance on the track. GT3 will be seen from 12th July to 14th July at the Festival of Speed.