Le Mans, June 13, 2003...Bentley's all new Continental GT will be seen in action for the first time at Le Mans at midday on Saturday June 14. The 560PS, 198mph coupe will lap the circuit twice with five times Le Mans winner Derek Bell at the helm and Bentley chairman and CEO Franz-Josef Paefgen as his passenger. The choice of race day at Le Mans for the Continental GT dynamic reveal was a natural one. On the 80th anniversary of both the race and Bentley's participation in it, its appearance marks the start of a new era for Bentley. And where better to celebrate that fact than the place that brought Bentley the global recognition it enjoys to this day.
In convoy with the Continental GT will be two other very special Bentleys, also owned by the factory. Both are legendary 41/2-litre supercharged 'Blower' Bentleys, one the original factory demonstrator, the other the most famous of Sir Henry 'Tim' Birkin's team cars. It was the combination of this car and the superlative driving talents of Birkin that helped vanquish Rudolf Caracciola's works Mercedes-Benz SSK, once overtaking it at 125mph, on the grass with one tyre in shreds.
On Saturday the pace will be necessarily slightly more sedate, not least because the Blowers will be carrying the latter day Bentley boys, Johnny Herbert, Mark Blundell, David Brabham, Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen, and Guy Smith. Four hours after this demonstration, they will climb aboard their 220mph Speed 8 prototypes and attempt to win again for Bentley, 73 years after Birkin's heroics helped seal the marque's fifth and most recent victory at Le Mans.
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Lisa Palmer, PR Co-Ordinator, Bentley Motors
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