Bentley Continental GT Becomes Fastest Production Car Ever To Conquer Pikes Peak
Twelve cylinders, 6.0-liters, 635 hp, two turbochargers, active all-wheel-drive and three-time former “King of The Mountain” champion Rhys Millen was what it took to take on and beat the existing Pikes Peak production car record. The time of 10:18.488 was set by Millen up the 12.42-mile course on Sunday 30 June.
Millen said after his record run, “This is an amazing finish to a wet, snowy 2019 run at Pikes Peak! We came here with one goal in mind, and that was to be the fastest production car up the mountain and set a new record. It was an incredible week. Today was a challenge with what Mother Nature threw at us, but the Continental GT held strong all the way to the top, and we are now Number One.”
The Bentley Continental GT made the most of its all-wheel-drive traction advantage and forced induction to overcome the tough conditions and climb the 156 bends up to the oxygen-starved 14,100-foot summit. Bentley’s director of motorsport, Brian Gush, says: “This new record once again proves that the spirit of endeavor and desire to push the boundaries of automotive performance remain at the beating heart of Bentley. It clearly demonstrates the Continental GT’s astonishing breadth of ability.”
The Continental GT adds to Bentley’s Pikes Peak trophy cabinet as last year Millen set the outright record for a production SUV in a Bentayga, his record time of 10:49.9 smashing the previous record holder’s efforts by almost two minutes. The Conti GT meanwhile shaved 8-seconds off the production car record, a category that is admittedly rather more fiercely contested.
The latest record adds to the year-long centenary celebrations that Bentley is carrying out across the globe. With more manufacturers realizing the marketing and promotional benefits of setting records at famous tracks and events, we may yet see Pikes Peak becoming the next Nürburgring where the latest and greatest production cars challenge each other for top honors. The previous record was set by a Porsche 911 Turbo S back in 2014 and defending the title may require Bentley to release an even more potent Continental GT Speed variant for next year’s event.
Images courtesy of Bentley