The North American debut of the Bentley GT3 racecar was quite the show. Coming out for the Cadillac Grand Prix at Road America, all eyes were on the Bentley as it took to the grid for the first time. With Butch Leitzinger behind the wheel and a full Bentley support staff, it was no question that Bentley came prepared. Unfortunately, during the qualifying session the rain became a problem. Race officials determined to switch it to a practice session. And while the transponder was not properly functioning in the Bentley which precluded them from recording an official lap time, seeing the Bentley charge up the long straight through the finish line even in the rain was a pretty spectacular sight. Unofficially it was calculated that Butch Leitzinger was able to drive the Bentley in the 2:08.9 range at Road America.

Bentley had two races during its North American debut at Road America. The race on Friday provided for some intense battles between Lamborghini, Ferrari, McLaren, and Bentley. Because Bentley had no points, what with this being their first race, they were staged at the back of the pack. Knowing they needed to really fire on all cylinders with minimal mistakes, Butch Leitzinger performed well under the rain conditions. During the 2nd race on Saturday, Bentley was able to secure a 2nd starting position and throughout the race fought hard against the competition. While they did not bring in a podium finish, it was still a great weekend of Bentley racing.

Powered by a V8 engine with around 600bhp, this GT racecar is unlike anything Bentley has produced before. To begin with it is the only Bentley Continental GT that is RWD, of course for racing this suits the car just fine. Included in the GT3 racecar we find an xTrac 6-speed sequential transaxle gearbox, racing clutch, and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. Looking to Bentley’s recent past the only thing that could come close with regards to power and handling would be their W12 Supersports, which sadly won’t be making a return to the production line. Clearly the production model, GT3-R, will fill the Supersports shoes nicely.

What sets the Bentley GT3 apart from other Bentley racecars is that Bentley has also produced a road-going GT3R, but only in a limited production run of 300 units. From what we are able to gather at Morrie’s Luxury Auto it appears that 100 GT3Rs were available for sale in the US, however they are all sold out.

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