The Bentley Continental GT surely ranks as one of the last cars you’d expect to see making the sprint to the summit of Pikes Peak, but the crew in Crewe plans to bring one to this year’s time trial just the same.
Bentley says it hopes to set a production car record with a 626-horsepower W-12-powered Continental GT coupe with five-time Pikes Peak International Hill Climb winner Rhys Millen at the wheel. Sounds crazy until you remember that Bentley set the production SUV record last year when Millen blitzed through the 12-mile, 156-turn course in a Bentayga in 10:49.902.
Granted, the number of Continental GT owners who track their cars or compete in hill climbs is almost certainly no bigger than the number of Bentayga owners who venture off road. But any attempt at a record generates tremendous publicity. After all, you’re reading this, aren’t you?
Bentley Motorsports is prepping the Conti for the Time Attack 2 class, installing a roll cage, fire suppression system, and other safety gear. David Donner set the benchmark for the class in 2014 when he drove a Porsche 911 Turbo S to the 14,115-foot summit in 10:26.896. The Continental GT, like the 911, features all-wheel drive and forced induction, which helps at high elevation, although the Bentley has one more turbocharger and about 10 percent more power than the Porsche. That said, the Bentley is hauling another 1400 pounds. The Continental GT can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds at sea level.
Millen, nicknamed “King of the Mountain,” has won the overall title for the race to the clouds five times. He also took seven class victories in 25 races. He hopes to add one more to the tally on June 30.