Pikes Peak is no longer a race that attracts only US manufacturers and fans. It became a race to the clouds for all those who want to prove something or set a world record.
After a six-month preparation and development programme, a race-ready Bentley Bentayga is in Colorado and ready to take on the 96th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this weekend.
Along the challenging 12.42-mile course, which features 156 corners and a 4,720 ft climb, the Bentayga will have to average a minimum of 60 mph to achieve its target – to claim the outright Production SUV record. Tackling the challenge will be two-time overall Pikes Peak champion Rhys Millen, whose race team has been working tirelessly with Bentley Motorsport this year to prepare the car for “The Race to The Clouds”.
The combination of 600 bhp engine, adaptive air suspension and 48V electric active anti-roll control makes the Bentayga the perfect challenger for the SUV record. As a competitor in the Production class, minimal changes have been permitted.
The car features a roll cage, fire suppression system and racing seat, plus new tyres selected from Pirelli’s DOT-marked range. Around 300 kg of interior trim has been temporarily removed for the event as stipulated by the rules, but in all other respects the Bentayga is a standard W12-powered production car.
A sports exhaust from Akrapovic completes the specification of the car, which is finished in eye-catching Radium Satin paintwork and Bentley’s Styling Specification kit – adding a carbon fibre front splitter, diffuser, side skirts and aerodynamic rear spoiler.