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This cool Bentley Continental GT is built for ice racing

By Chris Thompson, 10 Feb 2020 News

Bentley Continental GT ice racing news

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While Bathurst played host to a couple of Bentley Continental GTs in GT3 guise, a slightly different kind of Bentley race car was keeping cool on the other side of the world.

At the 2020 GP Ice Race in Zell am See, Austria, a Bentley Continental GT ice racer was flinging snow in a spectacle unfamiliar to most Australian eyes.

Built to remain as close to road specification as possible, the snow-spec Bentley features the necessary motorsport safety equipment: a rear roll cage, on-board fire suppression system, Sparco racing seats and harnesses.

Its air suspension was also raised and its wheel arches extended to fit an extra 15mm track width. A light bar, a custom Akropovic exhaust, and the roof racks holding a pair of Bomber/Bentley skis add to the aggro snow-racer appearance.

Underneath the bonnet, however, the Bentley’s 467kW/900Nm 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 was business as usual.

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Its livery should look familiar to anyone following Bentley’s motorsport exploits, as it’s an ‘alpine-themed’ version of the green livery worn by the Continental GT which completed the 2019 Pikes Peak hill climb to break the production car record.

Junior World Rally Championship driver Catie Munnings was the driver of choice for the Bentley, pointing out that it handled the snow much better than she was expecting.

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“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… 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.”

Once Munnings had completed her timed runs at the GP Ice Race, Bentley invited skier Sven Rauber for a demonstration of ‘skijoring’, in which a skier is towed behind the car to pay homage to a tradition started in the 1928 Winter Olympics where skiers were pulled along by horses.