Bentley’s attempt to win the Time Attack 1 class at the 2021 Pikes Peak Hillclimb on Sunday in Colorado failed to materialise due to a late engine issue and changes to the course.
The biofuel-powered Continental GT3 Pikes Peak driven by Rhys Millen, however, did finish in fourth position overall and claim the fastest car powered by renewable fuel at this year’s edition.
Millen’s time of 6:36.281 across the shortened course, due to icy conditions, saw the team score second place in the Time Attack 1 class.
“We know we had the pace today both to win our class, and to break the Time Attack 1 record. The weather sadly wasn’t with us though, with the shortened course meaning our assault on the record was never a possibility,” said Paul Williams, Bentley’s Director of Motorsport.
It was the snow and ice near the summit meant that the finish line was repositioned to be lower down the mountain at 3895 metres at Devil’s Playground, cutting out the last third of the normal course. The curve ball made it impossible for Bentley to break the Time Attack record.
The 560kW-plus Continental GT3 Pikes Peak – jointly developed by a collaborative team of Bentley, Fastr, Roger Clark Motorsport, M-Sport and Rhys Millen Racing – set a blistering pace over the first two sectors, entering the third and final sector 12 seconds ahead of its nearest rival.
A few corners from the finish, a boost pressure problem meant 16 seconds were lost, dropping Millen back to second place in class.
The Crewe-based company’s long-term renewable fuels programme has the ultimate goal of being able to offer genuinely sustainable fuels to its customers.
“This is the first step on Bentley’s renewable fuel journey, and there will be many more opportunities to come. Perhaps we’ll even come back to Pikes Peak next year,” Williams concluded.