Bentley have announced that they will be taking on this year’s GP Ice Race in Zell am See, Austria with a specially-prepared Continental GT. Testing Bentley’s new Continental GT to the extremes, the GP Ice Race will see the car compete over two days on a 600m frozen race track. This is one that you won’t want to miss.
Revived last year, the GP Ice Race finds its origin back in 1937. With an array of historic and modern race and rally cars taking part, the event is held over a weekend and features each competitor taking on two challenges – traditional racing and skijoring. Skijoring is a discipline that first made an appearance at the 1928 Olympic Winter Games and consists of each car towing a skier behind them over a track made from snow and ice (back in 1928, they used horses instead of cars).
As mentioned, Bentley’s entry to this year’s event will be a special Continental GT that has been set up to tackle the tricky conditions of the GP Ice Race. Remaining as close to the factory car as possible, the Ice Race Continental GT features a compulsory roll cage, an on-board fire system, increased ground clearance, slightly wider track width and studded Pirelli Scorpion tyres.
Power comes from the same 6.0-litre W12 twin-turbocharged engine as the standard car, which means a total of 626bhp and 664lb ft of torque being fed onto the ice. This special Continental GT has been equipped with a custom exhaust from Akrapovic (the same people that manufacture the bespoke exhaust for the standard Continental GT).
Completing the package, the Ice Race Continental GT wears a livery that pays homage to the Continental GT that broke the production car record at last year’s Pikes Peak hillclimb. On that theme, Bentley broke Ice Speeds Records in 2007 and 2011, so you can expect they’ll be looking to set some records here too.
At the wheel of the Continental GT will be Junior World Rally Championship driver Catie Munnings. A previous FIA European Rally Championship Ladies Trophy winner, Catie will be the first female driver to competitively race for Bentley in the modern era. Talking about the event, Catie said:
“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“
The GP Ice Race will take place in Zell am See on the 1st and 2nd of February, you can be sure that we’ll be watching (and wishing we could have some ice racing fun)! What do you think of Bentley’s special Continental? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.