Bentley's renewable-fuel Continental GT3 earns 2nd-place Pikes Peak Time Attack finish

Driver Rhys Millen set out to break the Time Attack record, but a problem with the car -- and the course -- kept that from happening.

Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Steven Ewing
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Bentley Pikes Peak
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Bentley Pikes Peak

Big biofuel Bentley.


wants to bring renewable fuel to the masses, and at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this weekend, the company ran a Continental GT3 race car powered by biofuel-based gasoline. The automaker didn't quite accomplish its goal of breaking the Time Attack record, but running up that hill in a car with renewable fuel shows further commitment to Bentley's goal of a sustainable future.

The big, burly Continental GT3 was driven by Rhys Millen -- someone who's no stranger to the Pikes Peak race -- and completed the 12.3-mile race in 6 minutes, 36.281 seconds. A boost pressure problem caused the car to lose power a few corners from the finish line, contributing to Millen's slower-than-expected time. Millen took second place in the Time Attack class and finished fourth overall.

"The 750-plus-horsepower Continental GT3 Pikes Peak is Bentley's first renewably powered race car, but it certainly won't be the last," the company said in a statement.

Bentley Pikes Peak
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Bentley Pikes Peak

Despite snow and ice at the top, this year's Pikes Peak race was gorgeous.


Interestingly, even if Millen's car hadn't had an issue, Bentley wouldn't have been able to set a true Pikes Peak record. Instead of covering the usual 5,000 feet of elevation change, the Pikes Peak organizers shortened the course this year due to heavy snow and ice at the top of the mountain, bringing the finish line to Devil's Playground, at 12,780 feet. That's roughly two-thirds the length of the standard Pikes Peak course.

Happily, the snow and ice didn't cause problems for the rest of the race. In fact, aside from a few stray clouds, Sunday's event was quite beautiful -- crisp and cool, and perfectly clear.

The overall winner for the 99th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was Robin Shute, who scored a time of 5 minutes, 55.246 seconds, while driving a Honda-powered 2018 Wolf GB08 TSC-LT race car. In the Time Attack 1 class, top honors went to Pikes Peak pro Romain Dumas, who completed the climb in 6 minutes, 31.914 seconds, while driving a 2019 Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport.

Next year will be the 100th Pikes Peak hill climb, which is sure to be a real spectacle, with rumored historic entries from Pikes past. As for Bentley? The company won't be slowing down. The Continental GT3 might not have won its class this year, but as Bentley Director of Motorsport Paul Williams said, "There will be many more opportunities to come."

Bentley Continental GT3 storms the 2021 Pikes Peak hill climb

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Editors' note: Travel costs related to this story were covered by the manufacturer, which is common in the auto industry. The judgments and opinions of Roadshow's staff are our own and we do not accept paid editorial content.