2014 Bentley Continental GT3 at the 2013 Gulf 12 Hours of Abu DhabiEnlarge Photo
With already two victories under its belt in the Blancpain Endurance Series, Bentley and its motorsport partner M-Sport are gearing up for the season’s toughest race: the Spa 24 Hours. The classic endurance race this year is taking place this weekend and Bentley is aiming to have both its 2014 Continental GT3 race cars finishing in the points.
Of course, competition will be as tough as ever, with Bentley going up against teams fielding race cars from the likes Aston Martin, Audi, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Porsche. And to make things more difficult, a new ‘Balance of Performance’ ruling for Bentley’s Continental GT3 sees both the race car’s weight increased and its power reduced.
The race car, based on the road-going Continental GT V8, weighs just 2,866 pounds. The suspension is completely revised compared to the road car, and the body all carbon fiber. The twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 has also seen its output increased to as much as 600 horsepower and the stock automatic transmission replaced by an Xtrac six-speed sequential gearbox with a limited slip differential.
Driving for Bentley in car #7 will be Guy Smith, Andy Meyrick and Steven Kane, and in car #8 will be Jérôme D’Ambrosio, Duncan Tappy and Antoine Leclerc.
The 66th edition of the Spa 24 Hours—celebrating the 90th anniversary of the race—will see 61 cars on the track. Last year, overall victory went to HTP-Motorsport driving a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3.