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BENTLEY RETURNS TO MOTORSPORT WITH RACING GT

Bentley Motors
Press release
www.bentleymedia.com
@BentleyMotorsPR

  • Bentley unveils new Continental GT3 concept racer
  • Based on Bentley’s fastest ever road car - the new GT Speed
  • FIA-approved concept with 2013 test programme in development

(Paris, 26 September 2012). At the 2002 Paris Motor Show, the unveiling of the Continental GT concept took the world by storm and opened an exciting new chapter in Bentley’s history. Now, ten years on, Bentley is repeating the same feat with a Continental-based GT3 race car currently being developed by a dedicated motorsport team at the company’s factory in Crewe.

Signalling Bentley’s return to the racetrack for the first time since its historic sixth Le Mans victory in 2003, Continental GT3 remains faithful to the company’s founding motorsport philosophy of developing racing cars from their road-going counterparts.

Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, comments:  “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 new Continental GT Speed is a refined, luxury grand tourer but which, if the driver demands, has a distinctly hard-edged sporting character. With exceptional levels of instantly accessible performance, the GT Speed, the fastest road-going Bentley ever, is a supercar that can be used every day, whatever the weather and road conditions. The Continental GT3 concept capitalises on the prodigious performance, outstanding high-speed stability and renowned durability of Bentley’s iconic coupe, while tailoring its specification for the track with the adoption of a rear-wheel drive chassis in accordance with the regulations, state-of-the-art motorsport hardware and a comprehensive aerodynamic package. The dramatic livery of the car enhances the muscular, sculpted form of the Continental GT Speed while remaining proudly patriotic with the inclusion of Union flags.

With the Continental GT3 concept receiving the full support of the FIA, Bentley is returning to the motorsport arena towards the end of 2013 with a GT race car capable of competing with the very best, in the true Bentley tradition.

Equipped for endurance as well as outright speed, the new Bentley competitor will be eligible to race in a range of race series and events, up to and including 24-hour marathons.

Heading the development of the Continental GT3 is Bentley’s Director of Chassis, Powertrain and Motorsport, Brian Gush. Having led the programme that famously saw a brace of Bentley Speed 8 prototype racers take a dominant and dramatic one/two at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003, Brian is well placed to lead Bentley’s return to competitive racing.

Development of the Continental GT3 will continue over the coming months in the build-up to the start of a test programme in 2013. More information and details about Bentley’s return to motorsport will be released in the near future.

ENDS

For further information about this press release please contact:

Wolfgang Glabus – Director of Communication
Wolfgang.Glabus@bentley.co.uk
Tel + 44 (0) 1270 535 189

Martin Broomer – Head of Product Communications
Martin.Broomer@bentley.co.uk
Tel       + 44 1270 535044
Mobile + 44 7834 245841

Mike Sayer – Product Public Relations Manager
Mike.Sayer@bentley.co.uk
Tel       +44 1270 535133
Mobile +44 7507 846782

For further information on Bentley please visit:

Media site        www.bentleymedia.com
Twitter            @BentleyMotorsPR
You Tube        www.youtube.com/bentleymotors

Notes to editors

  1. Bentley Motors is the third largest R&D investor in the UK's automotive sector and the 18th largest nationally. The company employs around 4,000 people in Crewe which is home to all its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production. The combination of fine craftsmanship, using skills that have been handed down through generations, alongside engineering expertise and cutting-edge technology is unique to UK luxury vehicle manufacturers such as Bentley. It is also an example of high-value British manufacturing at its best. Bentley exports over £500m worth of goods every year to established markets like the US, as well as emerging markets such as China and South America.
  2. Bentley’s global sales for the first half of 2012 increased by 32% with 3,929 cars delivered to customers and all global regions up on the same period in 2011. The Americas regained their position as Bentley’s largest market, with sales up 25.7% (1,140 cars delivered), but the China region continues to follow closely behind with sales up 55.7% (1,059 cars delivered). Sales in Europe increased by 22.9% (607 cars delivered) and UK sales are also up by 4.5% (557 cars delivered).   In the Middle East sales continued to recover with an increase of 47.9% (346 cars delivered).  Japan also saw an increase of 114.3% (75 cars delivered) and sales were up 52.6% (145 cars delivered) in the Asia Pacific region.
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The Continental GT3 - Concept Racer