Bentley tests futuristic biofuel as it climbs Pike’s Peak in the United States
Running since 1916, the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb is known as much for its iconic pilots – Michelle Mouton and Ari Vatanen – as for its danger.
Over 19 km long, with 156 turns and an elevation gain of over 1,524 meters (5,000 feet), the course winds like a snake to the 14,115-foot summit.
Drivers train for years to master it; every year a few inevitable bends overtake and leave the edge of the steep cliffs that line the course. Some are dead, including quadruple champion Carlin Dunne, who in 2019 crushed his prototype Ducati Streetfighter V-4 a few meters from the finish line. His death marked the end of the motorcycle division in hill climbing.
The Continental GT3 had been modified almost beyond all recognition as a Bentley. Cooling air intakes replaced the rear windows, while short side exhausts and a roll cage featured prominently in a cabin stripped of the luxury leather, chrome and wood that characterizes other Bentleys.
Most notable, a massive rear spoiler, the largest ever fitted by the Bentley factory on a car, joined a rear aerodynamic package balanced by a two-plane splitter up front and separate diving planes around either side of the car. the car.
These were meant to channel air quickly and keep the car on the ground as it reached speeds that would otherwise make it take off. To achieve the team’s desired speeds, three-time Pike’s Peak champion Bentley Rhys Millen would need to average nearly 80 mph (129 km / h) across the course, with top speeds of over 140 mph (225 km / h).