Car Culture

Bentley is gunning for the production car lap record at Pikes Peak

The Flying B will assault the mountain with its new Continental GT and driver Rhys Millen.

Rhys Millen is no stranger to Pikes Peak and Bentley is no stranger to setting records which makes them a perfect team.

Bentley

Now, don't let Bentley's six-figure price tags, opulent interiors and nearly architectural-in-scale curb weights fool you, its cars were made to go fast. That's why Bentley is testing the mettle of its new Continental GT at one of America's most demanding motorsports events: the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

The 2019 Pikes Peak Bentley effort to smash the overall production car record, announced on Thursday, will be led by Pikes Peak legend Rhys Millen and comes on the heels of Bentley's record-setting SUV run up the mountain in 2018.

The big, bright-green Conti has to beat the already seriously fast record of 10 minutes 26.9 seconds, but with all-wheel drive, 12 cylinders and two turbos to keep them fed in the thin mountain air, it's an ideal tool for the job.

"We have taken much learning from our successful visit to Pikes Peak last year with the Bentley Bentayga and applied it to our preparations this time around," Brian Gush, Bentley's director of motorsport, said in a statement. "We are proud to demonstrate the Continental GT's breadth of abilities in competition on a global stage."

The record attempt will be made on June 30, and the team will get just one attempt to run up the mountain and enter the record books. Of course, it won't be as simple as all that because the physical demands that Pikes Peak puts on the car and, more importantly, the driver are extreme.

"In the Pikes Peak environment [the Continental GT] really checks every box as the most competitive vehicle you could arm yourself [with]," said Rhys Millen, former Pikes Peak King of the Mountain. "This is one run, one day of the year. You have to be calm, be focused and process everything that you have to."

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