Walter Owen Bentley founded Bentley Motors in 1919 with the mission of building good, fast, and best-in-class cars. Bentley used motorsports to elevate his car’s status and attract wealthy buyers. His most notable success came at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where his team won the event five times in the 1920s. Seventy-three years after their last victory at Le Mans, the company entered the Bentley Speed 8 and earned another overall win.

In 2003, Bentley introduced a grand touring car called the Bentley Continental GT. The first generation of this vehicle was equipped with a 6.0 liter twin-turbocharged W12 engine. By 2011, the second generation was available. Consumers had a choice of two engines. The first was the 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 motor, which was not an option until 2012. The other engine was the 6.0 liter twin-turbocharged W12. Power in the Bentley is transferred to the rear wheels through an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. The Continental GT is a big car with a wheelbase of 108.1 inches and a curb weight of 2,350 kg.

In September 2012, Bentley introduced the Continental GT3 at Goodwood, driven by Guy Smith, who shared the winning Speed 8 at the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The car made its competition debut in December 2013 at the Abu Dhabi Gulf 12 Hour with M-Sport Bentley.

Conversion to GT3 specifications begins by lighting the Continental GT. Equipment and parts that make the road-going vehicle a luxurious grand tourer are removed. This includes double-glazed windows, veneer and leather trim, over fifty electronic control units, and extensive electrical systems, all for the pursuit of speed. The GT3 retains the Continental’s main body shell. However, the doors, the trunk, and the aero-optimized hood are made from hand-crafted carbon fiber. In addition, a carbon fiber front splitter, rear wing, and fenders are fitted to the car.
The Bentley Continental GT3 is 4,950 mm long and 2,030 mm wide with a height of 4,950 mm. The vehicle has a double wishbone suspension and four-way adjustable shock absorbers on each corner. Stopping the car are Brembo competition brakes with ventilated iron discs. The Continental GT3 uses four 18-inch diameter by 13-inch wide OZ Racing wheels. Mounted on the wheels are Pirelli 310/710 R18 tires. Hydraulic power-assisted steering is used to turn these large wheels / tires. The package weighs 1,300 kg, 1,050 kg less than the street legal version.
Powering the Bentley Continental GT3 is a 4.0 liter V8 engine equipped with twin turbochargers. The motor has four valves per cylinder with double-overhead camshafts. The pistons are a forged aluminum alloy. The connecting rods and crankshaft are alloy steel. Lubrication is accomplished using a dry sump oil pump. Cosworth engine management is used to control the fuel and electrical systems. The output of the motor is 507 horsepower and 531 ft-lbs of torque. The eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission has been replaced with an XTRAC six-speed sequential racing gearbox. Power is transferred to the rear wheels through a carbon fiber driveshaft and limited slip differential.

Weight1300 kg
Length4950 mm
Height1350 mm
Width2030 mm
TransmissionXTRAC six-speed sequential racing gearbox
Electrical12 V 140 AH alternator
ClutchRacing clutch
CoolingFront mounted radiator
Fuel TankFIA spec fuel cell
SteeringHydraulic power-assisted
BrakesBrembo - ventilated iron discs
WheelsFront & Rear: OZ Racing 18" x 13”
TiresFront & Rear: Pirelli 310/710 R18
Engine Displacement4.0 liter V8
HorsepowerUp to 600bhp
LocationFront-engine positioned rearward
Engine ManagementCosworth engine management
Valve Configuration32-valves double-overhead-camshaft
LubricationDry sump
PistonsForged aluminum alloy
Connecting RodsMachined alloy steel
CrankshaftAlloy Steel

Bentley partnered with Dyson Racing to participate in the 2014 Pirelli Word Challenge Series. Dyson Racing was founded by team principal Rob Dyson in 1974. Dyson began his racing career with the Sports Car Club of America and won the GT2 National Championship in 1981. Two years later, he moved to professional racing and competed with the International Motorsports Association. As of 2015, Dyson Racing has 19 championships, 72 victories, and 224 podiums.

The 2014 Pirelli World Challenge season was the twenty-fifth consecutive year for the series. There were eleven race weekends – the schedule kicked off in March at St. Petersburg, Florida and ended at Miller Motorsports Park in September.

The Bentley Continental GT3 made its first North American appearance at Road America for round seven of the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge Series. The Dyson Racing entry was piloted by Butch Leitzinger, one of the team’s regular drivers. He missed the first practice session and was one of only four drivers to attempt the wet second practice. He didn’t have an opportunity to go faster in qualifying as it was canceled due to inclement weather. The weekend’s first contest grid was set by points per the series rulebook. Leitzinger was gridded nineteenth for the fifty-minute contest and showed the potential of the Bentley by finishing sixth. He started race two on the outside of the front row thanks to his fastest lap on Saturday. Leitzinger was passed by the Cadillacs and finished fourth.
The next stop for the series was Toronto’s Exhibition Place. Leitzinger posted times in the two practice sessions that put him mid-pack. The No. 08 Bentley / Breitling / Mobil 1 / Bentley Continental GT3 driver qualified twelfth for round nine. Unfortunately, he was involved in an incident on lap 20 and was classified with a nineteenth-place result. The next day, Leitzinger was gridded thirteenth. Problems for Nick Tandy and Nick Mancuso moved him up the race. He also passed Dan Knox and Michael Mills, resulting in a ninth-place finish – 31.645 seconds behind the winner, Kuno Wittmer.
Rounds eleven and twelve for the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge Series Grand Touring category were conducted at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Leitzinger was quick in practice and recorded the fourth fastest time. He slipped slightly in qualifying and put the No. 08 Bentley / Breitling / Mobil 1 / Bentley Continental GT3 sixth on the grid for Saturday’s contest. Leitzinger lost two positions at the start but made them back before dropping to a twelfth-place finish. In the next race, he started in the eighth spot. He dropped down the order on the opening lap to sixteenth. Leitzinger began his charge to the front and crossed the finish line in eighth.
The next race weekend was at Sonoma Raceway. Dyson Racing entered a second car for Guy Smith. Smith qualified third behind his teammate Butch Leitzinger for the weekend’s first event. On the first lap, Smith spun and dropped to the back of the field. He put on a charge that took him to a ninth-place finish and set the fastest race lap in the process. Smith’s lap time from the previous day gave him the pole for Sunday’s race, but he had a poor start and finished sixteenth. In Saturday’s contest, Leitzinger qualified second but was passed at the beginning. He ran in fourth place until lap 7, when he passed Anthony Lazzaro. Leitzinger held the position and earned the final spot on the podium. A poor start on Sunday forced Leitzinger to work his way through the field, and by the end of the race, he had moved up to fifth.
The 2014 Pirelli World Challenge Series finale took place at Miller Motorsports Park. Guy Smith started from the pole in Saturday’s race but did not get off the line quickly and dropped to sixth place. However, he fared better than some competitors – the standing start claimed four victims. Smith moved up the order and was second when race leader Robert Thorne made contact with a GTS car. This incident gave Smith the lead and win. In the weekend’s second event, he started first and finished fifth. Leitzinger was gridded third for race one but completed the first lap in the eighth spot. By the conclusion of the contest, he was in fourth. In the finale, Leitzinger started fourth, but again, he had issues and fell down the lap chart only to move through the field and finish fourth.

Count Date Venue Driver Car Start Finish
1 March 28–30 Streets of St. Petersburg - - - -
2 April 11–13 Streets of Long Beach - - - -
3 April 25–27 Barber Motorsports Park - - - -
- -
4 May 30 – June 1 The Raceway on Belle Isle - - - -
- -
5 June 19–21 Road America Butch Leitzinger Bentley Continental GT3 19 6
2 4
6 July 18–20 Streets of Toronto Butch Leitzinger Bentley Continental GT3 12 19
13 9
7 August 1–3 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Butch Leitzinger Bentley Continental GT3 6 12
8 8
8 August 22–24 Sonoma Raceway Butch Leitzinger Bentley Continental GT3 2 3
4 5
Guy Smith Bentley Continental GT3 3 9
1 16
9 September 12–13 Miller Motorsports Park Butch Leitzinger Bentley Continental GT3 3 3
4 4
Guy Smith Bentley Continental GT3 1 1
1 5

After joining the Pirelli World Challenge mid-way through the 2014 season, Dyson Racing made rapid progress, culminating with a race victory in the series final weekend at Miller Motorsport Park. Dyson Racing’s pair of Continental GT3 race cars showed good speed from the start, with Butch Leitzinger setting the second-fastest race lap during the team’s debut at the Road America. Guy Smith, who drove a second car for the last two race weekends, started on the pole and set the fastest lap in three of the four races he contested. In addition to Smith’s race win, Leitzinger had a pair of podium finishes. Even with a partial season, Smith was tied for first in driver’s fastest race laps, Bentley was second in manufacturer’s fast laps, and the third in manufacturer’s poles.

The team was well-positioned to contest the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge. However, there would be a change in the driver line-up. Butch Leitzinger was joined by Dyson Racing’s Vice President and Sporting Director, Chris Dyson. Dyson was a successful sports car racer who had competed in the Grand American Road Racing Championship and American Le Mans Series.

2015 was the twenty-sixth consecutive year for the Sports Car Club of America's (SCCA) Pirelli World Challenge series.

For the first time, the season opened in early March at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA). The season's second event, in support of the IndyCar series, was at Saint Petersburg - in previous years, St. Pete marked the start of the championship. Following Saint Petersburg were races at Long Beach, Barber Motorsports Park, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Detroit, Road America, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Miller Motorsport Park, Sonoma Raceway and the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The first two rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge series were held at Circuit of the Americas. Dyson Racing ended their 2014 campaign on a high; however, the new season would open in disappointment. Butch Leitzinger qualified thirteenth for the weekend’s first race driving the No. 20 Bentley / Breitling / Mobil 1 / Bentley Continental GT3. Newcomer Chris Dyson was the eighteenth fastest in a field of thirty-nine Grand Touring entries. Leitzinger finished three laps behind the winner in thirty-first, and Dyson maintained his position to the checkered flag. In round two, the team didn’t fare much better. Dyson was gridded twentieth and finished seventeenth, while Leitzinger started sixteenth and finished eighteenth.
Next on the calendar was the Streets of St. Petersburg. The qualifying session for round three was held on a wet track. Dyson was twelfth fastest, while Leitzinger could only manage twenty-second fastest in the challenging conditions. In Saturday’s contest, Dyson moved up three positions to finish ninth. Leitzinger also performed well and was sixteenth. Their fastest laps in race one gave them better-starting positions for round four. Dyson was gridded ninth but finished ten and Leitzinger moved from his twelfth spot for a ninth-place result. Just one race would be conducted at the Streets of Long Beach. Dyson qualified twelfth and finished second. Leitzinger was the fourteenth fastest but had a severe crash on lap 2.
After Long Beach, the series stopped at Barber Motorsports Park. This weekend, the team entered just one car for Dyson. Leitzinger’s car was badly damaged at Long Beach and could not be repaired in time for Barber. Disassembly of damaged components began in the paddock in Alabama, and the unibody required a frame straightener to get the Bentley back to its specifications. Dyson opened the event with a sixth-place finish after starting eleventh. Issues in race two caused Dyson to finish seven laps behind the winner in twenty-second place. Next, it was on to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, a Dyson Racing friendly circuit. The team has had many successes with their prototype program at this track. Chris Dyson was a pole and race winner in the American Le Mans Series at this track.
During qualifying for round eight, Dyson recorded the fifth-fastest time. After battling with Olivier Beretta and Robert Thorne, he finished fourth. In the finale, Dyson benefitted from contact between the leaders to finish third. Butch Leitzinger drove the No. 20 Bentley Continental GT3. In the qualifying for Saturday’s contest, Leitzinger was the third fastest. During the race, he chased Johnny O’Connell and Kevin Estre to the final spot on the podium. Leitzinger started Sunday’s event in the fifth position. Contact between Kevin Estre, Olivier Beretta, and James Davidson on lap 7 allowed Leitzinger to move into second and capture a runner-up finish.
Up next was the Raceway at Belle Isle. Leitzinger was unable to make the call for qualifying or the race. Dyson started round ten in seventh and finished third. Due to inclement weather, Sunday’s contest was canceled and rescheduled for Road America. The triple-header weekend was another strong event for Dyson Racing. Leitzinger started on the pole for rounds eleven and twelve but came up short in the races, collecting fifth and fourth-place finishes, respectively. In the finale, he started and finished in the sixth spot. Dyson qualified behind his teammate for race one, but an irregularity sent him to the rear of the field – twenty-sixth place; however, he finished sixth. In the second contest, he started second and grabbed the lead on lap 9 for the victory. On Sunday, Dyson finished seventeenth after starting on the pole.
Next up were races fourteen and fifteen at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. It appeared that the team had lost some of their mid-season speed. In the weekend’s first contest, Dyson qualified and finished twelfth. However, he was fined $1,000 for avoidable contact. Lietzinger was gridded eighth, but a poor start resulted in a twenty-second-place finish. This did not go unnoticed by the officials. A failure to execute a correct launch meant a loss of two grid positions for Sunday’s race. Dyson started in the eleventh spot and finished thirteenth. However, he was guilty of avoidable contact with Henrique Cisneros and Martin Fuentes. His fine was $4,000 and he was on probation for the remainder of the year. Leitzinger finished twenty-fourth after starting fourth.
After the frustration of Mid-Ohio, the team moved on to Miller Motorsports Park. Miller Motorsports Park was the scene of Dyson Racing’s first victory with the Bentley Continental GT3. Guy Smith, who grabbed the win, replaced Butch Leitzinger in the No. 20 Bentley. Smith qualified twenty-third but charged through the field for a ninth-place result. The next day he was gridded sixth and moved up the order to secure the final position on the podium. In the process, Smith set the fastest race lap and a new track record. Dyson started Saturday’s contest tenth but finished a disappointing twentieth after he pitted for a flat tire. For the finale, he was thirteenth but lost a position to Mike Skeen and finished fourteenth.
The penultimate race weekend was held at Sonoma Raceway. Smith would remain on the team for the rest of the season. He qualified and finished ninth in round eighteen. Dyson started six positions behind his teammate and took the checkered flag in twelfth. On Sunday, Smith started and finished twelfth. Dyson was gridded thirteenth but lost a lap to the leader and finished twenty-third. 2015 ended with a single contest at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Dyson qualified twenty-third fastest and advanced five positions to finish eighteenth. Smith started in the tenth spot but dropped down the race order to finish one place ahead of his teammate.

Count Date Venue Driver Car Start Finish
1 March 6–8 Circuit of the Americas Chris Dyson Bentley Continental GT3 18 18
20 17
Butch Leitzinger Bentley Continental GT3 13 31
16 18
2 March 27–29 Streets of St. Petersburg Chris Dyson Bentley Continental GT3 12 9
9 10
Butch Leitzinger Bentley Continental GT3 22 16
12 9
3 April 17–19 Streets of Long Beach Chris Dyson Bentley Continental GT3 12 2
Butch Leitzinger Bentley Continental GT3 14 28
4 April 24–26 Barber Motorsports Park Chris Dyson Bentley Continental GT3 11 6
8 29
5 May 15–17 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Chris Dyson Bentley Continental GT3 5 4
4 3
Butch Leitzinger Bentley Continental GT3 3 3
5 2
6 May 29–31 The Raceway on Belle Isle Chris Dyson Bentley Continental GT3 7 3
2 -
7 June 26–28 Road America Chris Dyson Bentley Continental GT3 26 6
2 1
1 17
Butch Leitzinger Bentley Continental GT3 1 5
1 4
6 6
8 July 31 – August 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Chris Dyson Bentley Continental GT3 12 12
11 13
Butch Leitzinger Bentley Continental GT3 8 22
4 24
9 August 21–23 Miller Motorsports Park Chris Dyson Bentley Continental GT3 10 20
13 14
Guy Smith Bentley Continental GT3 23 9
6 3
10 August 28–30 Sonoma Raceway Chris Dyson Bentley Continental GT3 15 12
13 23
Guy Smith Bentley Continental GT3 9 9
12 12
11 September 11–13 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Chris Dyson Bentley Continental GT3 23 18
Guy Smith Bentley Continental GT3 10 17

The 2015 Grand Touring drivers’ championship went to Cadillac’s Johnny O’Connell. Dyson Racing’s Chris Dyson would finish eighth. Despite an abbreviated season and failing to collect points in nine races, Butch Leitzinger finished nineteenth in the final standings out of forty-nine drivers. Guy Smith, who only participated in five contests, was thirty-first in the points.

The drivers delivered some respectable numbers. Thanks to Dyson, the team secured a victory at Road America, where he also earned the fastest race lap. He collected his first fastest lap at Long Beach. At Miller Motorsports Park, Smith also grabbed the fastest race lap. Between the three drivers, they finished on the podium seven times.

The Bentley and Dyson Racing partnership was only a two-year Pirelli World Challenge works-supported program. After the 2015 season, the joint venture concluded.

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