Bentley's new Continental GT3 racer is to make its public debut at this weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed ahead of the start of its test and development programme.

Former Bentley Le Mans winner Guy Smith will drive the car up the famous Goodwood hillclimb throughout the weekend, while the car will also be on static display - alongside the Continental GT3 Concept Racer that was previously unveiled in Paris last year.

Design of the new car has been completed by a team of engineers from Bentley working alongside technical partner M-Sport, with the build of the first car taking place at it's base in Cumbria.

Extensive work has gone into taking weight out of the base car, allowing Bentley to go below its target weight of 1,300kg. Power through the rear wheels comes from a 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 engine producing approximately 600bhp, with an Xtrac six-speed sequential gearbox, carbon fibre propshaft and limited slip differential all featured.

Following a development programme on-track and the granting of FIA homologation, the car will take part in a number of races later in the year before racing in the Blancpain Endurance Series next year.

"The Continental GT3 exploits the incredible performance beneath the skin of every Continental GT," Member of the Board for Engineering Rolf Frech said. "We've removed over 1000 kilograms of weight, reconfigured our 4.0-litre V8 to produce 600bhp in race specification, and developed a comprehensive aerodynamic package to ensure that we perform competitively. We are now looking forward to getting the car on the track and proving its potential."

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