Bentley Motorsport will be hauling over a specially prepared Continental GT to the 2020 GP Ice Race in Zell am See, Austria. The all-wheel grip monster will be helmed by Junior World Rally Championship driver, Catie Munnings – who is the first female driver to competitively wrestle a machine for Bentley Motorsport.
“The opportunity to race with Bentley at Zell am See is one that I couldn’t miss. I’m completely blown away by the car, and I actually still can’t believe I’m getting let loose in a Bentley to do an ice race. I spent some time on ice in the car just before Christmas. At first I thought it would feel heavy, but I was amazed by how dynamic, nimble and responsive it is. It can dance like a lightweight rally car, and I can’t wait to race it at such an iconic event“, said the 22-year old British rally driver.
The machine she’ll be piloting is said to be have been kept as close as possible to production form, with minimal changes done to comply to safety standards including a rear roll cage, on-board fire suppression system, racing seats and harnesses. Further, the car’s ride height is increased slightly for better ground clearance, the wheel arches are flared to accommodate a 15mm increase in track width, the headlights are Lazer and the exhaust is a custom system from Akrapovic.
The Ice Race Continental GT will be running in livery that pays homage to its record-breaking compatriot from the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Moreover, just like the Pikes Peak car, the Ice racer will feature a twin-turbo W12 powerplant with 467kW and 900Nm. Those towering figures allow the big GT to demolish the century sprint in just 3.7 seconds from standstill and accomplish a top speed of 333km/h.
The ice racer from Crewe rides on three-chamber air springs and is kept level by a 48V active anti-roll control system. Stopping power is provided courtesy of iron disc brakes and studded Pirelli Scorpion tyres. “I first drove the prototype Continental GTs on snow during winter testing before the launch of the car. The stability and control this car has on these surfaces is unbelievable and I look forward to seeing it race in those conditions” said Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Paul Williams.
The GP Ice Race, on the 1st and 2nd of February, includes two events: standard racing and a skijoring competition where a skier – Sven Rauber in this case – is towed by car over the ice and snow course.