Bentley Continental GT Seeks Production Car Record at Pikes Peak Hill Climb
Bentley Motors is set to attempt to break the outright production car record at the world-renowned Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) with the new Bentley Continental GT later this month. The current record and time to beat is 10 minutes, 26.9 seconds, which was set by a Porsche 911 Turbo S in 2015.
Last year, the record for a production SUV at Pikes Peak was set by the Bentley Bentayga in a time of 10 minutes, 49.9 seconds–taking nearly two minutes off the previous record by averaging 66.5 mph (107 kph).
In Bentley Motors’ centenary year, the spirit of endeavor and desire to push the boundaries of automotive performance remains strong after 100 years of competition. The Continental GT–racing under #100–equipped with the highly-capable and dynamic W12 engine has undergone extensive testing in order to prepare both car and driver for the record attempt.
Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush, says: “We have taken much learning from our successful visit to Pikes Peak last year with the Bentley Bentayga and applied it to our preparations this time around. We are proud to demonstrate the Continental GT’s breadth of abilities in competition on a global stage.”
The extreme conditions of Pikes Peak pose a significant challenge. With the start line being at 9,300 ft and climbing to 14,100 ft, the air is 1/3rd less dense than at sea level. The weather will also play a vital role in the run as 90-degree temperatures and clear skies can change to snow in a matter of minutes. The lack of oxygen will also impact driver Rhys Millen, who will have an on-board oxygen system fed into his helmet to reduce any effect of altitude sickness.
Millen, former ‘King of the Mountain’ and a Pikes Peak veteran, added: “In the Pikes Peak environment it [Continental GT] really checks every box as the most competitive vehicle you could arm yourself. This is one run, one day of the year. You have to be calm, be focused and process everything that you have to.”
The record attempt will take place on June 30.