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Bentley

Supersports Ice Speed Record, 2010

Image copyright © BMIHT
Make
Bentley
Manufacturer
Bentley Motors Limited
Location Made
Crewe
Accession Number
L2023:7
Collection
Bentley Motors Ltd
Type
Car
Status
On loan from a private collection
Engine
W12 cyl, 5,998 cc, 621 bhp
Fuel
Top Speed
205+ mph (330+ km/h)
Body Style
Convertible
Price When New
not quoted
Materials
metal, glass, rubber, textiles
Dimensions
(l), (w), (h)
Location
In the Workshop

At the time of its launch, the Continental Supersports was the fastest and most powerful Bentley ever made. It was, therefore, the ideal choice for four-time World Rally Champion Juha Kankkunen’s attempt to raise his own World Ice Speed Record above 200 mph. On 15 February 2011 he reached 205.48 mph on the frozen bay of Bothnia, Finland.

Kankkunen had already set a World Ice Speed Record in 2007 behind the wheel of a Bentley Continental GT, recording 199.865 mph. For his fresh attempt in 2011, the Continental Supersports was fitted with a roll cage, racing harness, parachutes for stability whilst braking and panels to cover the headlights. The car’s air suspension coped well with the ripples of the ice ‘track’ which was a bulldozed stretch of sea ice with banks of piled snow at the sides, three kilometres off the coast.

During the record attempt, Kankkunnen balanced the car in a series of minor drifts leaving a long plume of snow crystals in its wake. He hit a patch of uneven ice at 185 mph and, despite holding the Bentley on three-quarter opposite lock to correct the skid, the throttle trace never deviated – he simply accelerated through it.