The Winged B has been slowly winding down its Continental GT3 program for over a year now. As the company has already begun its slow transition to all-electric street cars, there isn’t much to be learned by racing an old internal combustion machine these days. According to a report from Motorsport.com, Bentley has contracted with Ray Mallock Limited to develop the current Continental GT3 chassis into a potential FIA eGT class competitor.
Apparently interested parties like Bentley have had the working regulations for eGT since late last year, and while it’s possible there are other companies developing their own competitors for the class to kick off in 2023, the Bentley is the first that has actually been confirmed to exist. Now, Bentley has not yet confirmed that it will for sure compete in eGT, as this project is still at its inception and could get scrapped if the car turns out to be pants.
As it turns out, the ruleset allows companies to grandfather in existing FIA GT3 spec cars with electric motors and batteries swapped in. Thankfully the series doesn’t yet require all-electric GT cars race, because there aren’t many of those kicking around the industry at the moment. According to Motorsport, the car Bentley is testing with RML is a first-generation Continental GT3, which raced from 2013 to 2018 with fair to moderate success. It’s likely Bentley used this car as it was just laying around, not being raced.
Bentley has previously made it clear that it is interested in electric endurance racing. There is no doubt that eGT will not be that. The current ruleset calls for a 45 minute sprint race with a mandatory pit stop to charge a few laps worth of electrons. None of that sounds like endurance racing to me. It sounds interesting as heck, but not endurance.
If Bentley is going to partner with a company to build an electric racer, however, they could do a whole lot worse than RML. That’s the same company that helped develop Nissan’s ZEOD RC hybrid that raced at Le Mans, and the NIO EP9 electric hypercar.
FIA eGT will kick off with a short trial championship in 2023. Bentley has not yet committed to the series, but this seems like a big step toward that commitment being confirmed.