Bentley sends its twin-turbo W-12 ice racing
With “first modern-day female Bentley racer” and rally driver Catie Munnings behind the wheel of its entry, Bentley is sending a fairly stock Continental GT to the GP Ice Race, where it will compete in conditions that are somewhat similar to the brand’s Nordic prototype testing. At this historic Austrian race, which spans the first weekend of February, Bentley’s 6.0-liter twin-turbo W-12 is expected to show what 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque can do in a low-grip situation, regardless of air temperature.
The “Ice GT” retains its three-chamber air springs, 48V active anti-roll control system, and iron brake rotors. However, to have a chance against its fierce competition, Bentley raised the car’s ride height and increased track width by 0.69 inches. Studded Pirelli Scorpion tires, a Lazer light bar, and Akrapovic’s custom exhaust system complete the racing package and, to also keep the marketing team happy, there’s a roof rack featuring a pair of branded skis. Center of gravity and drag figures be damned—we’re looking at ice racing with an oversized luxury car here.
To boost all that social media traffic further, the Ice GT’s livery is an evolution of that on the Continental GT that ran up Pikes Peak to break the production car record with Rhys Millen in 2019.
The GP Ice Race in Zell am See, Austria first ran in 1937 and was only revived last year. Featuring both historic and modern machines, the race will see drivers compete over 0.37 miles of frozen track in two fields. First, there’s standard racing around the circuit. Then, there’s an exhibition of “skijoring”, which is the art of towing a brave skier by car. This challenge dates back to the Olympic Winter Games of 1928 in St. Moritz, when skiers were drawn by riderless horses.
As you know, Bentley’s skier Sven Rauber will have 626 horses to deal with.