It is the most spectacular addition to the ADAC GT Masters of the 2015 season. As Bentley Team HTP, HTP Motorsport intend to field two Bentley Continentals in the ADAC GT Masters. Bentley is now the 17th marque to line up in the Super Sports Cars League since the ADAC GT Masters was first inaugurated. Bentley remains exclusive even in motor racing. Along with works team M-Sport, Bentley Team HTP are the only outfit to deploy the Continental in GT championships and for endurance racing throughout Europe. After undergoing development during the 2014 season, the luxury coupé with its 600-bhp V8 turbo engine is now ready to face the competition in the Super Sports Car League, starting with the season opener in the etropolis Motorsport Arena Oschersleben (April 24th-26th).
Bentley returned to motor racing with the Continental in 2013, ten years after taking an overall win in the 24-Hours of Le Mans in 2003. The first GT3 sports car produced by Bentley is certain of one record even before the ADAC GT Masters season kicks off. The handsome British-built coupé has the largest dimensions of any supercar in the field. The Continental is six millimetres longer than the Chevrolet Camaro and 20 millimetres taller than a flounder of a car like the McLaren 12C.
The Bentley was jointly developed by successful rally team M-Sport along with Bentley Motorsport at Bentley headquarters in Crewe. Experienced British team M-Sport, who have previously twice won the world rally championship with Ford, have worked with Bentley Motorsport to turn the coupé into a thoroughbred racing car. The leather and wood trim of the production car have been removed along with the electrical systems. More than 1,000 kilogrammes in total was shaved off the car's weight. The racing version now tips the scales at around 1,300 kg, just like its competitors. The Continental is driven by an almost standard four-litre V8 turbo engine that also sees duty in production versions of the Continental GT V8 and V8 S. The turbo engine has been modified for racing but continues to utilise many standard components. The Bentley uses its stately dimensions and sophisticated aerodynamics to good effect. Aerodynamically optimised body parts combine with a large front splitter and rear wing to provide maximum downforce.
Preparations for the season have already begun for Bentley Team HTP who will race the Continental in the ADAC GT Masters. The first of two Continental GT3s that the team will field in the Super Sports cars League arrived this week at new team headquarters in Altendiez near Limburg. Testing for the 2015 ADAC GT Masters season gets under way in southern Europe towards the end of January. Bentley Team HTP propose to announce who will take the wheel of the Continentals at a later date.
"We are looking forward to the challenge of lining up in the ADAC GT Masters with the Bentley," said Norbert Brückner, team principal at Bentley Team HTP. "We believe that the Bentley has enormous potential and are confident that we can achieve good results in the ADAC GT Masters after the first promising tests towards the end of last year."
The Bentley caused a sensation in 2014 in its first season, securing wins in Britain, France and America. Bentley are now aiming to extend their track record in the ADAC GT Masters.
Would-be drivers of the racing version of the Bentley in the ADAC GT Masters will not have to forego that touch of Bentley refinement, as steering wheel, door straps and seats in the Continental racing cars are all handmade in Crewe, just like the items used in street legal vehicles.