To the delight of motorsport aficionados worldwide, Bentley has confirmed its long-awaited return to the race track in 2013, with the exciting new Continental GT3.
Unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, the breath taking Continental GT3 maintains the company’s triumphant racing heritage and remains faithful to its founding motorsport philosophy of developing racing cars from their road-going counterparts.
A dedicated team of elite engineers, designers and technicians – spearheaded by Bentley’s motorsport supremo, Brian Gush – is currently developing the race car at the company’s factory in Crewe, heralding the first competitive foray since Bentley’s historic sixth Le Mans victory in 2003.
The Continental GT3 will be based on the new Continental GT Speed, the fastest ever road-going Bentley, and will capitalise on that model’s outstanding performance, high-speed agility and stability and adventurous personality.
Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, said: “The clear message from our customers is that Bentley belongs on the racetrack, and the Continental GT3 is the realisation of a dream we’ve had ever since the launch of the Continental GT.
“The new GT Speed is the perfect car for us to develop into a racer, and our work so far has shown huge potential.
“The Continental GT3 is set to show the world what the Continental GT is capable of in its most extreme form, and establishes a solid foundation for Bentley’s long-term motorsport plans.”
The Continental GT3 concept has already sparked much media excitement and speculation regarding the eventual specification of the race car – including whether it will be powered by a race-tuned version of the GT Speed road car’s twin-turbo 6.0 litre W12 or the 4.0 litre V8 engine.
Whichever is chosen, the unmistakable sound of a Bentley engine is going to thrill racegoers when the car finally hits the track.
Combining Crewe’s legendary craftsmanship and cutting-edge engineering excellence, the racing version has received a significant makeover, with a dramatic rear wing and eye-catching brilliant white race livery which enhances the car’s muscular form.
Bentley plans to race the car in long-distance events, competing against rivals like the McLaren MP4-12C GT3, Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 and Mercedes SLS AMG GT3. The Bentley is also expected to face off against the Audi R8 LMS Ultra and Porsche 911 GT3 R from within the VW Group.
With the concept receiving the full support of the FIA, it is expected to embark on a test programme early in 2013, with racing anticipated towards the end of the year.
In addition to the factory team, Bentley intends to make the Continental GT3 available to customer teams and, while there are currently no plans for a road-going version based on the race car, there is sure to be significant interest in the possibility.
Get a glimpse of the stunning Continental GT3 here