One of the odd things about living in Ohio is it is home to one of the most well known road courses in America, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. With its right angles, wiggly curves and exciting straights this makes for a challenging drive for both professional and amateur drivers. Teams come from all over the world to compete in various races. Courtesy of Bentley Motors, Ltd. were lucky to have a little backstage access to the GT cars at the recent Pirelli World Challenge race.
WHAT IS A GT CAR? GT stands for Grand Touring, in the racing world these are simply supercars without compromises, built to race. These are factory built cars, same as production models for sale to the general public, with a little tweaking. Notice the similarities above to Bentley’s factory built Continental GT V8 and their Continental GT3 racer, also a V8. Any luxury amities and electronics are left behind on the factory floor. Race Teams purchase the cars from manufacturers with the interior being not much more than a shell. A GT car is lighter and lower than the production model. And there are a number of rules relating to horsepower (425-525) plus dozens of other items which in turn make these the race version of road cars.
So now let’s take a look at some of the eye-candy competing at the Pirelli World Challenge in both the GT and GT-A. If you were wondering, “A” stands for amateur as opposed to professional driver. Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia driven by Nick Mancuso for R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia driven by Henrik Hedman for Dragon SpeedMcLaren 12 C GT3 driven by Alex Figge for K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Gallardo driven by Tomas Enge for Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo driven by Albert von Thurn und Taxis for Reiter Engineering Audi R8 LMS Ultra driven by Andrew Palmer for Global Motorsports Group Audi R8 Ultra driven by James Sofronas for Global Motorsports Group Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT3 driven by Tim Pappas for Black Swan Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Michael Mills for Effort Racing. Both Effort Racing entries in the GT and GT-A classes came away winners on Sunday for the Pirelli World Challenge race at Mid-Ohio. If you follow my Instagram you may have seen pre-race weekend pictures with Effort Racing and the GT-A car at Porsche Beachwood. Bentley Continental GT3 driven by Butch Leitzinger for Dyson Racing was of course our favorite. Check back later in the coming months for more on the new Bentley Continental GT3 car and their return to racing.