Bentley took advantage of this weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed to reveal the Continental GT3 race car, which will compete in the FIA Blancpain Series from 2014. Bentley previewed the race car with a concept at last year’s Paris Motor Show.
The race-ready Bentley Continental is based on the 500-hp Continental GT V8 road car, albeit with extensive modifications. The 6.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine has a dry-sump oiling system and several other motorsport upgrades, and produces 600 hp. A carbon-fiber propshaft sends power to the new six-speed sequential race transaxle, which is mounted at the rear axle. A limited-slip differential helps deliver power to the 18-inch diameter, 13-inch-wide OZ Racing wheels.
Instead of the air springs found on the standard Bentley Continental, the GT3 car has four-way adjustable coilovers at each corner. The front brakes have six-piston Brembo calipers, while the rear axle has four-piston brake calipers. An extensive body kit comprises a rear wing and front splitter made from carbon fiber, along with extra vents and air intakes for the hood and front fascia. Inside, the Bentley Continental trades wood and leather for a fire extinguisher system, steel roll cage, and racing seat with six-point harness. Not that craftsmanship has been totally forgotten: Bentley asserts that the door pulls, steering wheel, and seat were all hand-trimmed at the company’s workshop in Crewe. All told, the GT3 is said to weigh less than 2866 pounds. A standard Bentley Continental tips the scales at 5060 pounds.
This year, the car will be used for track development work to prepare it for its racing debut in early 2014. Visitors to the Goodwood Festival of Speed will see the GT3 in motion this weekend, as Bentley driver and 2003 Le Mans winner Guy Smith drives it up the venue’s famous hill climb.