Bentley GT3 Pikes Peak racer gets a Fanatec sim wheel

Published: 21 June 2021

► New GT3 Pikes Peak racer
► Will run on sustainable fuel
► Has the biggest wing ever fitted to a Bentley

Bentley has teamed up with Fanatec to create a new racing wheel for its GT3 Pikes Peak racer – and it’ll work in the real world and the sim world, too. It’s not the first time Fanatec has done this – they’ve also worked with BMW on a similar project – but Bentley’s wheel looks a little different to the one for the M4 GT3 car. 

The centre of the new wheel uses a circular display that’ll display telemetry from the real or gaming world, and there’s also classic Bentley knurling on the rotary encoders. There’s also two of Fanatec’s seven-way directional sticks, a pair of aluminium thumb wheels and four paddles – two for years and two that can be mapped to everything from DRS to engine modes.

‘This is the most advanced wheel we’ve ever made, and it will be used in a car which is simply stunning and the definition of cool,’ said Thomas Jackermeier, CEO of Fanatec’s parent company Endor AG. ‘We had the honour of making an iconic wheel for an iconic car to race at the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and our customers can be part of it and drive the exact same wheel in a simulator.

Everything you need to know

Bentley has revealed its new commitment to sustainable technology with this – a ridiculous Continental GT-based Pikes Peaks racer. Crewe’s GT3-spec hillclimber will be used to develop biofuels and will also compete for the Time Attack 1 record at this year’s Pikes Peak international hillclimb. Bentley’s announcement follows a similar, but less-winged pledge to synthetic fuels from VW Group stablemate Porsche.

The car that’ll take on this year’s 12.42-mile hillclimb in the Rocky Mountains could run on a concoction that uses up to 85% less fossil fuel than currently, and – like Porsche – Bentley sees the tech as a means to power existing internal-combustion cars long into the future. Around 80% of Bentleys ever made are still on the road, and biofuel could power them well past 2030, when Crewe will stop developing ICE tech. 

The car itself will be run on Bentley’s behalf by the Fastr outfit, and prepared by Roger Clark Motorsport, and will use a tweaked 4.0-litre turbo V8 from the standard Continental. Short side-exit exhausts will help it breathe better in the rarefied air, while a stupidly-sized wing and diffuser help to claw back downforce lost from running at higher altitudes. And yes, that’s the biggest wing ever fitted to a Bentley. 

‘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 programme,’ said Bentley’s member of the board for engineering, Dr Matthias Rabe. 

‘Our powertrain engineers are already researching both biofuels and e-fuels for use by our customers alongside our electrification programme – 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.’

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast