|Bentley recently unleashed the Continental GT3 race car at last weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. At GFoS, Bentley’s 2003 Le Mans driver Guy Smith piloted the Continental GT3 to the ‘awe’ of the visitors at the Goodwood Festival of Speed event.|
The latest Grand Tourer from Bentley takes on a comprehensive aerodynamic package, to maximise downforce with optimized drag. A top-mounted carbon fiber rear wing provides rear downforce and stability, while a carbon fiber 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 optimize 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 Continental GT3 is powered by a race-prepared and dry-sump version of Bentley’s powerful but efficient 4.0-liter 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 exemplary 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 an LSD (limited slip differential), mounted as a transaxle for optimized 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.
With the Bentley Continental GT3 readily available, the manufacturers from Crewe intends to enter next year’s Blancpain GT series.