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  3. BENTLEY WORKS RACE CARS FROM PAST AND PRESENT RETURN TO LE MANS TO CELEBRATE CENTENARY

BENTLEY WORKS RACE CARS FROM PAST AND PRESENT RETURN TO LE MANS TO CELEBRATE CENTENARY

25 Jun 2023
  • On which car Bentley will enter the Le Mans Race?

The most famous race car of the modern Bentley era, the 2003 Speed 8, made its return to Le Mans recently to take part in the centenary celebrations of the ultimate motorsport marathon – the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The dynamic demonstration of the highly popular fan-favourite precedes the return of a new Works Bentley to Le Mans, with a pair of Blower Continuation Series cars to compete at this year’s Le Mans Classic.

Bentley Speed 8 chassis 004/5

Bentley Speed 8 chassis 004/5

The very same car that won the race in 2003 – Speed 8 chassis 004/5 – took to the track as part of a centenary parade. It was piloted by Guy Smith, the same driver who took the chequered flag 20 years ago, as the car turned a wheel at the circuit for the first time since. After being reunited with the car and completing two laps of the circuit, Guy commented:
“This car delivered Bentley’s first Le Mans victory since 1930, and became the springboard for my racing career, and so it’s incredibly special to me. While I’ve driven it a couple of times since 2003, this is the first time it’s been back to Le Mans and driving it here brought back so many memories and emotions. It feels exactly the same as it did when it crossed the line 20 years ago. Bentley is part of Le Mans, and Le Mans is part of Bentley, and it was an amazing weekend of celebrations of 100 years of history here.”
Le Mans Classic will then see a Works Bentley race at Le Mans for the first time since the victory in 2003 – as a pair of Blower Continuation Series cars take part in the Grid 1 race. Both the factory-owned Blower Car Zero and a customer car will be racing, with the former building on its recent first test race at Donington Park in the UK. The entries mark not only the first official Bentley entries to a Le Mans race since 2003, but also the return of a Works-supported Blower to the track for the first time since 1930, when the legend of the Bentley Blower was born.
As part of the rejuvenation of Bentley’s Heritage Collection, Speed 8 004/5 has recently undergone a complete rebuild to return it to as-new standard as it was before its most famous victory. The car is one of eight motorsport vehicles in the Heritage Collection, all of which are maintained in running order alongside the 37 road-going members of the fleet, all of which will be road legal by the end of the year.
The Speed 8 now stays at the circuit for the rest of June, on display in the Le Mans Museum until Le Mans Classic at the end of the month, where Bentley will have a significant presence and exhibition alongside the race programme. The Speed 8 will then make a number of other dynamic appearances this summer, before returning to Crewe to be positioned on display with its sister cars from 2001 and 2002, and the rest of the Bentley Heritage Collection, in three new and purpose-built areas that embed the fleet into any visit to Bentley’s campus.

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ASTON MARTIN VALKYRIE AMR-LMH HYPERCAR HITS THE TRACK

24 Jul 2024
ASTON MARTIN VALKYRIE AMR-LMH HYPERCAR HITS THE TRACK

The new Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR-LMH has hit the track for the first time, as Aston Martin with The Heart of Racing begins a comprehensive testing programme ahead of the British ultra-luxury sportscar brand’s bid to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans outright next year and for the first time since 1959.

The new Hypercar, developed by Aston Martin Performance Technologies and works team The Heart of Racing, completed a shakedown and initial evaluation testing in the UK this week, The car was driven by Aston Martin High Performance development driver Darren Turner (GBR), The Heart of Racing’s Mario Farnbacher (DEU) and Harry Tincknell (GBR), who won the LMGTE class of the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans with Aston Martin.

Aston Martin with The Heart of Racing will now commence a full development schedule to prepare the car ahead of FIA homologation in the autumn and its competitive debut in early 2025. The Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR-LMH is the first racing car to be built to Hypercar regulations to contest both the FIA World Endurance Championship [WEC] and the US-based IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship [IMSA] simultaneously.

The Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR-LMH is unique in the top Hypercar class of global endurance motorsport in that it is the only one among its contemporaries to derive its roots from an existing production-based extreme performance car – Aston Martin Valkyrie, the ultimate hypercar. Works team The Heart of Racing will enter two Valkyrie AMR-LMH contenders in WEC and a single car in IMSA in 2025.

Adam Carter, Aston Martin Head of Endurance Motorsport, said: “The Valkyrie AMR-LMH sets its own standard as a thoroughbred endurance competition car. It is a pure, leading edge racing machine, and while it is very early in the testing cycle, from what we have witnessed so far, we are satisfied that it is achieving the targets and criteria we have set out for it to accomplish.”

10 Fastest Cars at This Year's Goodwood Festival of Speed

23 Jul 2024
10 Fastest Cars at This Year's Goodwood Festival of Speed

The last day of the 2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed was nothing short of spectacular. Over the five-day event, hundreds of vehicles, ranging from turn-of-the-century machines to modern hypercars, took on the iconic 1.16-mile hill climb. This year, the top 10 fastest cars showcased a thrilling mix of vintage Formula One racers and cutting-edge sports cars. Some were veterans of the hill climb, while others made their debut in style. Let's dive into the details of the 10 fastest cars at this year's event.

Nissan Formula E Team ready to take on Season 10 finale in London

19 Jul 2024
Nissan Formula E Team ready to take on Season 10 finale in London

Nissan Formula E Team is set to face the ExCel London Circuit in Rounds 15 and 16 of the 2023/24 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, the final two races of the campaign. The squad currently sits fifth in the Teams’ Championship, and is still in the battle for third as Season 10 reaches its close.