2019 PIKES PEAK CONTINENTAL GT – DA17 UVS
Bentley seems to have a thing for Pikes Peak, or perhaps Pikes Peak has a thing for Bentley. In 2019, two-time ‘King of the Mountain’ Rhys Millen was again at the wheel of a Bentley for another record run on the 156-turn course, driving a specially prepared W12-powered Continental GT, following the successful capture of the ‘Production SUV’ record in 2018 in a Bentayga.
The mechanically-standard Continental GT took 8.4 seconds off the previous record, and set an average speed of 7-0 mph across the 12.42-mile course – despite the preceding week in the build-up to the race being plagued with rain and snow. The finishing time was 10:18.488.
The standard W12 was allowed by the regulations to breathe through a freer exhaust, so a straight-through titanium exhaust system by Akrapovič was fitted. Extraneous weight was taken out, and softer-than-usual Pirelli tyres were fitted. The result was the fastest road-legal race car Bentley has ever made, with stronger acceleration and no understeer thanks to weight removal.
The run was part of Bentley’s centenary celebrations, and as such the car carried the race number 100 on its front grille and doors. Like the Pikes Peak Bentayga before it, the car features Radium bodywork with a specially-designed, mountain-themed Pikes Peak livery. The striking green pairs with 22” five-spoke wheels in a black finish to the rear and Radium finish to the front. The interior is modified for the inclusion of a full roll cage, racing bucket seats and harnesses, ignition kill switches and an onboard fire extinguishing system. Nevertheless, the handcrafted Crewe cabin remains, trimmed in single-tone Beluga leather and with fascias and waistrails in carbon fibre.
The passenger fascia was signed by Rhys Millen after the race, and still carries its official competition plate.
Please note that the Pikes Peak Continental GT cannot be used in the UK or Europe for anything other than documented test activities, as it is a prototype vehicle.
|Two-door, two-seat coupe race car
|6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 TSI, two parallel twin-scroll turbos, direct intercooling
|635 PS / 626 bhp / 467 kW @ 6,000 rpm, 900 Nm / 664 lb.ft @ 1,350 – 4,500 rpm
|Variable four-wheel drive with eight-speed automatic transmission, four drive modes
|Steel and aluminium monocoque, aluminium double wishbones (front), multi-link (rear), three-chamber air springs, 48V active anti-roll control
|Wheelbase 2,851 mm; width; 2,187 mm; length 4,850 mm. Weight < 2,200 kg
|Official figures not available