Rhys Millen and Bentley will return to Pikes Peak this summer with the aim of setting a third class record in four years in a bespoke Continental GT3 powered by renewable fuels.
Millen, a two-time Global Rallycross event winner and the 2005 Formula Drift champion, is a double winner of the annual Pikes Peak hillclimb, triumphing in 2012 and 2015. His father Rod Millen is a legend of the event with five overall victories to his name between 1994-99.
In 2018 Millen drove a Bentley Bentayga up the famed hillclimb and set a new production SUV record. He returned the following year in a Continental GT to claim a production car record too.
This year Millen and Bentley have their sights set on the Time Attack 1 record, currently held by David Donner and a 2019 Porsche GT2 RS Clubsport.
The attempt, in which Millen will have to lay down an average speed of 78 mph along the 12.42-mile, 156-turn course, will be behind the wheel of a modified Bentley Continental GT3 racing car.
The Continental GT3 Pikes Peak will show that renewable fuels can allow motorsport to continue in a responsible wayDr Matthias Rabe, Bentley’s member of the board for engineering
Developed in conjunction with Bentley’s factory racing partner M-Sport – the same team that runs Ford Fiestas in the World Rally Championship – and customer team Fastr, Bentley is calling the car “the most extreme road-car-based Bentley in history” and it’s easy to see why.
A radical aero package is dominated by “the biggest rear wing ever fitted to a Bentley”, while the use of biofuels is expected to deliver a handy horsepower boost for the 4.0-liter turbocharged V8, despite a climb of 9,300ft to 14,100 ft.
The decision to run the car entirely on renewable fuel is to showcase Bentley’s ambition to offer sustainable fuel alternatives to its customers in the coming years. A range of biofuels are already being tested ahead of the attempt, with greenhouse gas reductions of over 85% compared to regular fuels anticipated.
“We are delighted to be returning to Pikes Peak for a third time – now powered by renewable fuel, as the launch project for another new element of our Beyond100 program,” said Dr Matthias Rabe, Bentley’s member of the board for engineering.
“Our powertrain engineers are already researching both biofuels and e-fuels for use by our customers alongside our electrification program – with intermediate steps of adopting renewable fuels at the factory in Crewe and for our company fleet.
“In the meantime, the Continental GT3 Pikes Peak will show that renewable fuels can allow motorsport to continue in a responsible way, and hopefully it will capture the third and final record in our triple crown.”
This year’s Pikes Peak International Hillclimb will take place on June 27. Among the confirmed entries will be another former US rallycross racer, IndyCar regular JR Hildebrand, who will tackle the course in a current-spec Dallara DW12.