While last year's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was rather dominated by Romain Dumas in the VW ID. R, it was also notable for Bentley's achievement: a Bentayga W12 claimed a new production SUV record, at 10:49.9. Doesn't sound like much when the ID. R did 7:57.1, but that's still an average of 66.5mph. And 105 seconds faster than a Range Rover Sport...
Anyway, Bentley has set its sights rather higher this year, with eyes on the outright production car record. It currently stands at 10:26.9 from 2014, set by David Donner in a Porsche 911 Turbo S. As a car to drive 12.42 miles up a mountain in it's hard to think of much better (or faster) than a Turbo S, though Bentley will be trying to surpass it with this Continental GT.
Beyond the paint job, car #100 should be a standard Conti, the car only equipped with the compulsory roll-cage, fire suppression system and racing seats to prepare it for the attempt. As last year, Kiwi Rhys Millen will be on driving duty - his history in Colorado includes a rear-wheel drive record in 2009 - and reckons the GT, "really checks every box as the most competitive vehicle you could arm yourself [with]." He'll have an oxygen system onboard to offset any effects of the drastic altitude change too.
"We are proud to demonstrate the Continental GT's breadth of abilities in competition on a global stage", said Bentley's Director of Motorsport Brian Gush. This year's Pikes Peak takes place on June 30th, with the Bentley running in an Exhibition class also featuring an Acura RDX, a Dodge Charger Hellcat and an electric 911. Should be an interesting weekend!