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.