BENTLEY Motorsport has shown off a all-new Continental GT3 racecar, currently in development for the 2018 motorsport season.
While plans for the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour are yet to be confirmed, the car will compete in next year’s Intercontinental GT Challenge and Blancpain GT Series following a planned debut in the opening round of the the Endurance Cup series, at Monza.
The second-generation Continental GT3 is the latest dedicated racecar in an acclaimed Bentley motorsport lineage that includes the 4½ Litre, Speed Six and Speed 8 Le Mans winners.
“After four years of success with our Continental GT3, we’re excited to reveal our second-generation car,” said Brian Gush, Bentley’s Director of Motorsport.
“The new car leaves no area or system untouched in the search for even better performance, and the early test results are promising. The new Continental GT road car has proved to be a great starting point for the development of a new racer, and the engineering development work is true to Bentley’s impeccable standards.”
The first-generation Continental GT3 has proven to be a championship-winning endurance racer, taking Bentley Team M-Sport to the team title in the 2017 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup and podium finishes in this year’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour and Total 24 Hours of Spa.
Run by the famous M-Sport team, Bentley has produced three remarkable performances at Mount Panorama, including fourth on debut in 2015 – though the car was third heading into the final corner of the race.
They reached the podium for the first time a year later, Matt Bell, Steven Kane and Guy Smith finishing third.
Kane and Smith replicated that performance again this year to give the brand two podiums from three starts.
Development of the new car has been led by the engineers of Bentley Motorsport’s in-house team based in Crewe, together with designers and technicians at Bentley’s motorsport technical partner, M-Sport.
The new Continental GT3 has been designed from the all-new Continental GT road car, utilising it’s mostly aluminium structure as the foundation to deliver a race-ready weight of significantly less than 1300 kg and helping to deliver an ideal weight distribution for racing. The all-new racecar has already started a six-month test programme to pick up the mantle from its championship-winning predecessor, completing test work in the UK, France and Portugal.
Upcoming development work includes full 24 hour endurance race simulations.
Bentley Motorsport also announced its plans for the 2018 season: it will compete around the world in the four-round Intercontinental GT Challenge and also run a pair of new Continental GT3 racers across Europe in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup next year.