Pikes Peak, known as ‘The Race to the Clouds’, is not an event to be taken lightly. And that’s why renowned British carmaker Bentley has prepared a special version of the Continental GT to confront this unique challenge, designed specifically for the world’s most famous hillclimb race, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains close to Colorado Springs in the United States.
It’s all about length and altitude: there are 156 corners in total over an elevation change of 1438 metres, taking in a route of just under 20 kilometres. The start line is at 2862 metres and the course finishes on the roof of the world at 4300 metres. In the past, the event was purely gravel, but over the years it has been progressively asphalted up to 2012, when it became all-asphalt for the very first time.
The famed Continental GT didn’t take part in the competition last year, but in 2019 it set a production car record, setting a time of 10m18.488s over the course. Bentley returns to Colorado on June 27 in an attempt to do even better with the GT3, which this year has an extra element of interest thanks to its use of renewable fuel, which could reduce greenhouse gases by up to 85 per cent compared to standard fuel. A special steering wheel has been developed by Bentley and Fanatec, world leaders in gaming hardware. The first steering wheel of its kind to have actually raced in a car can be used also for virtual motor racing.