The Bentley Speed 8 will run alongside other Le Mans prototypes for the first time since 2003.
This year marks the one-hundredth anniversary of Bentley. To celebrate this milestone, the automaker recently unveiled the limited-edition Continental GT Number 9 Edition by Mulliner at this year’s Geneva Motor Show inspired by Bentley's 100-year motorsport heritage.
The luxury automaker will also unveil a new fully electric concept car in the middle of this year envisioning the luxury car of the future. We could see the concept debut at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, but before then the automaker is continuing its centenary celebrations at the 77th Goodwood Members’ Meeting this weekend with a special gathering of some of its most iconic racing machines. The 1,900-hp Pininfarina Battista and McLaren Senna GTR will also make their dynamic debuts at the event.
Headlining the gathering will be the Speed 8, Bentley’s Le Mans car that won the grueling endurance race in 2003 with a 1-2 finish, marking Bentley’s sixth outright victory at the 24-hour race. Among the six men who drove the winning Speed 8 were Tom Kristensen and Guy Smith, and the pair will be reunited with the car at the 77th Goodwood Members’ Meeting.
The drivers will take part in two 15-minute Le Mans Prototype demonstration runs, one on Saturday evening at dusk with Smith behind the wheel, the other on Sunday afternoon with Kristensen driving. The Speed 8 will run alongside other Le Mans prototypes for the first time since 2003, with two of the original Bentley drivers, Guy Smith and Tom Kristensen, set to return to the driver’s seat.
Bentley’s centenary will also be commemorated in the John Duff Trophy race featuring pre-1930 vintage race cars. Duff was the first driver to win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Bentley, claiming the title in 1924.