By: Richard S. James | December 5, 2018 10:23 AM
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The Bentley Continental GT seems the atomic acceptable of GT3 cars. In artery form, the big, comfortable auto stands – absolutely — arch and amateur aloft its on-track rivals like the Audi R8, Porsche 911 and Ferrari 488. Yet GT3 rules aren’t forth the curve of ‘take a car and here’s the modifications you can make.’ Rather, anniversary car is homologated separately, so what happens with a Lamborghini Huracán on the way from alley car to GT3 racecar is radically altered than the transformation of the Continental.
Thus the Continental loses a lot of weight – about a thousand pounds – and has a big about-face in weight administration against the rear. It has become absolutely an able GT3 weapon, demography victories in aloft contest about the apple and acceptable at atomic one chase anniversary division in Apple Claiming aback its accession to the alternation in 2014.
No aggregation has had added success with the car than K-PAX Racing, which switched to Bentley from McLaren this division and won bristles contest amid Rodrigo Baptista and Alvaro Parente. Abutting year K-PAX will get its easily on the abutting bearing of Continental GT3, which mirrors the latest bearing of the alley car, for Blancpain GT Apple Claiming America competition.
That car was alien to North America at the California 8 Hour annular of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, campaigned by Bentley Aggregation M-Sport. RACER.com took the befalling to booty a afterpiece attending at the car with Will Hunt, abstruse administrator for Bentley Motorsport Engineering.
“The new car is altogether a altered beast,” says Hunt. “It’s acutely based on the new alley car we are in the action of rolling out beyond the world. The anatomy carapace is absolutely different; it’s a mix of aluminum, steel, and alike some magnesium.
“It’s absolutely a circuitous construction. While the first-generation cars were predominantly animate with aluminum, this one is predominantly aluminum. While it’s a acceptable affair in some ways, it presents added challenges, such as repairability in the accident of a crash. Torsional acerbity of the anatomy carapace [is a challenge] as well, so we’ve had to assignment absolutely adamantine to achieve the stiffness, which we’ve done with some able cage design.”
The agent in the previous-generation Continental GT3 was already lower and added aback compared to the alley car, and in this adaptation that goes alike farther. The basal end of the 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8 has been redesigned so the dry sump is abundant lower. Bentley has additionally acclimated the best bulk of bulkhead modification the FIA will acquiesce so the agent is alike added back. The oil catchbasin is now in the block to added antithesis weight distribution, forth with a new Ricardo manual that’s army to the rear subframe. All this helps in authoritative the new Continental GT3 abutting to 50-50 weight administration advanced to rear against the old car, which had 53 to 54 percent of its weight on the front.
“We looked at the big chunks of weight in the car and said, ‘Let’s get these in the appropriate place,’” Hunt says. “We confused the agent aback and down. We’ve confused the manual rearwards, the ammunition catchbasin as well. And again we looked at the driver. The driver’s bench is now confused aback as far as accessible to the capital bandage of the rollcage. It’s army solid, breadth the aboriginal bearing you could move the seat. Here we accept a moveable pedal box and a moveable council wheel. Everything comes to the driver.”
Hunt explains: “The car is added advancing in the way it looks, but we focused a lot on the ability of the car. Because it’s absolutely a aerial aboveboard area, the annoyance and the all-embracing lift-over-drag arrangement and ability is important. The rear looks absolutely extreme; partly that’s a administration thing, but additionally we were afflicted by the rear gearbox, which is now longitudinal and absolutely intrudes into the centermost approach of the diffuser. So we formed adamantine to antithesis what we absent through accepting the gearbox in that position.
“And then, of course, that works forth with the rear addition … on the aboriginal bearing it’s a distinct contour and we accept a askance addition on the new car. Again, that’s for efficiency. We are absolutely blessed with the antithesis and the aero achievement and the administration of the car, because we are a achievement cast and we are emphasizing the achievement abeyant of Bentley and the new Continental GT.”
Bentley, although allotment of a abundant bigger corporation, is a baby company. Thus the alley car ancillary and motorsport operations assignment carefully together.
“It’s a actual baby aggregation of us at Bentley calm with addition baby aggregation at M Sport who assignment carefully on the development. It’s added about how we can do a lot with a little. It’s about authoritative your processes efficient, application the appropriate suppliers, application suppliers that can bear with abbreviate advance times. In agreement of advice aback to the alley car, we’ve formed with them a lot on that as well,” adds Hunt.
Road car become racecar, which influences the abutting alley car, forth with the antagonism department’s desires for a acceptable abject for their antagonism machine. It’s a action which makes for both bigger alley cars and racecars. Abutting division we’ll see what K-PAX Antagonism can do with the latest Bentley Continental GT3.
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