Bentley’s Speed 8 to debut at Silverstone
July 31, 2019driversclub
For the first time ever, one of Bentley’s most iconic Speed 8 coupes – yes, the model that won at Le Mans back in 2003 – is to race on UK soil, in a fitting tribute to the brand in its centenary year.
A birthday treat for Bentley fans
One of the stunning Speed 8 prototypes now belongs to experienced sportscar racing enthusiast Shaun Lynn, who is bringing it to this month’s spellbinding Silverstone Classic (July 26th to 28th). Shaun is contesting both showdowns as he tries to bag the Aston Martin Trophy for Masters Endurance Legends at the 2019 Classic.
Incredibly, this will mark the first time ever that one of the 215mph models has raced in the UK.
The legend of the Speed 8 prototypes was made at Le Mans in 2003, as the brand, under the steer of the Volkswagen Group, made a high-octane play to recreate its early glory days on the tarmac and re-establish its sporting credentials.
To achieve this win, Volkswagen invested in a prototype motor sport programme. Support was provided in the form of 600bhp twin-turbo V8 engines from Audi. The brand switched Le Mans attack from Audi to Bentley, and the rest is history. The programme culminated in Bentley’s first Le Mans win in 73 years.
And now fans will get to see these iconic cars race at Silverstone.
“We are absolutely thrilled that Shaun is joining us at the Classic to race his Speed 8,” enthused Ron Maydon, president of Masters Historic Racing. “This will be another iconic addition to our already impressive grid and is sure to be a massive crowd-pleaser.”
The motor’s debut in a Masters’ race is all the more evocative given that this month marks 100 years of Bentley. The emblematic British brand turns 100 this July, with the company having been established on July 10th 1919.
Steve Clarke, marketing manager at Drivers Club News, comments: “The chance to see one of Bentley’s winning Speed 8 coupes race on UK soil is a dream for those who still remember that incredible victory at Le Mans. The fact this event is taking place during Bentley’s 100th birthday celebrations is the icing on the cake.”
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