There’s more of the standard road car in the racer than you might think, particular when it comes to the engine, Brian Gush reveals.
“The engine is a standard production engine,” he says. “The throttle bodies and intercoolers are off the W12, so the only bespoke components on the engine are the intake manifolds, which are carbon, and the exhaust manifold. Everything else are standard production components.”
Did the road car’s bulk cause any problems when it comes to aero? No, Brian says. “Pressure time area equals force, so if you have a big floor area you don’t need to do much to get a lot of downforce. So the footprint helps. The frontal area doesn’t, but the balance of performance regulations in GT3 allow you to turn up the wick on the engine if it’s a problem. The size doesn’t really matter. I just hope when other drivers see the car in the rear view mirror, they get out of the way.”
The Continental GT3 had a short test at Anglesey Circuit in Wales before heading to Goodwood, and will now go into a serious development programme that may include a couple of low-key races towards the end of the year. Then it’ll go into proper racing in 2014, starting with the Blancpain Series race at Monza.
“GT3 is customer racing, so it’ll be works supported,” Brian says. “Our team is Team M-Sport Bentley. We’ve got to get the point where we can produce and sell them, make sure they’re reliable. If we can produce 10 cars for other customers next year, I’ll be happy.”
The GT3 represents the first of a new generation of race cars from Bentley, and all things being well we can expect more in the future.
“The motorsport department will stay, it’ll be an ongoing thing if I’ve got anything to do with it,” says Brian. “I think it’s important for Bentley and the workforce is behind it. We put on our intranet that the race car would be loaded at 10am on a Wednesday and the entire workforce came out and lined the streets. The lines stopped and there was spontaneous applause.”
We wish them the best of luck.
|Engine:||V8 / twin-turbo / 4.0-litre|
|Transmission:||Xtrac six-speed sequential transaxle gearbox / racing clutch / steering wheel mounted paddle operated pneumatic gear shift / rear-wheel drive|
|Front suspension:||Double wishbone suspension / four-way adjustable racing damper|
|Rear suspension:||Double wishbone suspension / four-way adjustable racing damper|
|Brakes:||Ventilated iron disc brakes front and rear / Brembo six-piston front calipers / four-piston rear calipers / driver-adjustable brake bias|
|Aerodynamics:||Carbon fibre front splitter / rear wing and body panels / lightweight aerodynamically-optimised bumpers bonnet sills and fenders|
|Safety:||FIA-specification steel roll cage / Sparco six-point FIA safety harness / onboard fire extinguisher / onboard pneumatic jack system|
|Wheels:||OZ Racing 18-in x 13-in|
– Shots courtesy of Luke Gilbertson