The Bentley Continental GT3 that will have its first comeback race at the Gulf 12 Hours will be piloted by three accomplished British sports car racers -- Guy Smith, Steven Kane and Andy Meyrick. The race – a two six-hour contest – will be held at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi on December 13, 2013.
Final preparations for the car’s first race are ongoing after an initial development work with an endurance test was completed. During the test, the car and drivers all performed strongly. The Continental GT3 continues its testing form of being both fast and extremely reliable. Bentley’s Director of Motorsport Brian Gush, following completion of development and endurance testing, said that they are now confident that the Continental GT3 is prepared for its first test race.
He remarked that while development work never stops, they are ready to race for the first time in Abu Dhabi. As a Bentley Boy since 2001, Guy Smith won the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Bentley Speed 8. He achieved second place in 2004 Le Mans with Audi. In 2005, Guy joined Dyson Racing in the United States, racing in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). He and Dyson claimed the ALMS titles in 2011, and finished second in 2012.
Bentley Continental GT3’s double wishbone suspension configuration for both the front and rear is fitted with 4-way adjustable racing dampers. These were put in place of standard road-car air springs. Moreover, the car’s steering system boasts hydraulic power-assistance and its braking system features ventilated iron discs plus 6-piston calipers for the front and 4-piston calipers for the rear.
Additionally, the car’s exterior has a comprehensive aerodynamic package, using optimized drag to maximize downforce. Its rear wing, made of top-mounted carbon fiber, provides stability and rear downforce, while its carbon fiber splitter does the balancing of the front’s aerodynamic forces. Modifications were made to the bumpers, fenders, bonnet, and sills so as to assist with engine cooling and optimize drag coefficient.
The Continental GT lineup’s usual leather and wood trims for the interior have been removed for the GT3. This leaves the advanced refinement materials and production electrical systems under the target weight of 1300 kg. GT3, despite the race-specification, is still a hand-crafted Bentley, with its steering wheel, seats, and door pulls hand-trimmed and stitched by craftspeople at Crewe.
Furthermore, the GT3’s design was completed by Bentley Motors’ specialist team of engineers, supported by the GT3 Technical Partner, M-Sport Ltd. Meanwhile, a dedicated motorsport facility at Bentley's Crewe factory is in charge of management, while the detail design stages are managed by an additional design office at M-Sport.