156 corners in 10:18.488 minutes.
In early June this year, Bentley announced it plans to tackle the record for a faster production vehicle at the Pikes Peak this year. Honestly, we were quite surprised to hear that by the automaker as it isn’t exactly known for seeking out and setting new performance records. It turns out Bentley was actually dead serious about its intentions and the job is now done – the Continental GT claimed the outright record for a production car at the hill climb race on Sunday, 30th of June.
The numbers from the record run are in, and they are all good. The car was driven by “King of the Mountain” Rhys Millen, who managed to cover the 12.42-mile (19.98-kilometer) course in just 10:18.488 minutes. To put that number into perspective, that’s 8.4 seconds faster than the previous record and represents an average speed of approximately 70 miles per hour (112 kilometers per hour).
“This is an amazing finish to a wet, snowy 2019 run at Pikes Peak,” Millen’s first words were after the record run. “We came here with one goal in mind, and that was to be the fastest production car up the mountain and set a new record. It was an incredible week. Today was a challenge with what Mother Nature threw at us, but the Continental GT held strong all the way to the top, and we are now Number One.”
The start line of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is at 9,300 ft (2,835 meters) and the course climbs roughly 5,000 ft (1,524 meters) through 156 corners. At the top, the air is one-third less dense than at sea level, which definitely puts the 12-cylinder engine under pressure for fresh air. Despite that, the Conti GT used for the record is in stock form with no modifications to the 626-hp (467-kW) W12.
“This new record once again proves that the spirit of endeavor and desire to push the boundaries of automotive performance remain at the beating heart of Bentley. It clearly demonstrates the Continental GT’s astonishing breadth of ability,” Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush, added.
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