The Bentley Continental GT3 Pikes Peak finished fourth overall at the 2021 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC).
Driven by former King of the Mountain Rhys Millen, the vehicle — which runs on renewable energy — competed on a course that was shortened due to icy conditions at the Pikes Peak summit, crossing the finish line in 6:36.281 despite suffering a late engine issue. The said time beat all other sustainability focused entrants, including fully electric competitors.
The Bentley Continental GT3 Pikes Peak also finished second in Time Attack 1.
To note, the GT Continental Pikes Peak Edition was launched in late 2019 to mark the British marque’s centenary.
“Snow and ice near the summit meant that the finish line was repositioned to be lower down the mountain at 12,780 ft at Devil’s Playground, cutting out the last third of the normal course, which sadly made Bentley’s Time Attack record-breaking ambitions impossible to realise. Nonetheless, the Continental GT3 Pikes Peak — jointly developed by a collaborative team of Bentley, Fastr, Roger Clark Motorsport, M-Sport and Rhys Millen Racing — set a blistering pace over the first two sectors, entering the third and final sector 12 seconds ahead of its nearest rival. A few corners from the finish, a boost pressure problem meant 16 seconds were lost, dropping Millen back to second place in class,” Bentley claimed in a statement.
Bentley Director of Motorsport Paul Williams expressed pride over the feat.
“We know we had the pace today both to win our class, and to break the Time Attack 1 record. The weather sadly wasn’t with us though, with the shortened course meaning our assault on the record was never a possibility. While that’s a bitter pill to swallow, I’m proud to have entered such a strong renewably powered race car — the fastest at the event — and equally proud of the team that’s delivered this project. This is the first step on Bentley’s renewable fuel journey, and there will be many more opportunities to come. Perhaps we’ll even come back to Pikes Peak next year…” Williams was quoted as saying.
The latest participation of Bentley in the 2021 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was its third in recent years, following successful record runs in both a specially prepared Bentayga (Production SUV record) and a Continental GT (outright Production Class record).
The participation in the said meet also marks the start of the company’s long-term renewable fuels program, with an “ultimate goal of being able to offer genuinely sustainable fuels” to its customers.
Further, the latest involvement in the 2021 PPIHC “signals the start of a new focus on sustainability for Bentley’s Motorsport department,” as the company is geared towards its Beyond100 strategy to transform the marque into the world’s leading sustainable luxury mobility company.
“The 750+bhp Continental GT3 Pikes Peak is Bentley’s first renewably powered race car, but it certainly won’t be the last,” Bentley concluded.
Back in 2019, the Bentley Continental GT conquered the 12.42-mile course in 10 minutes, 18.488 seconds — shaving 8.4 seconds off the previous record.
Photos from Bentley