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Bentley Le Mans Car

For the first time since before WWII Bentley appeared in the Le Mans 24 hour race in June, 2001, and placed 3rd behind two Audi LMP900, an unexpected and remarkable achievement.

The featured mark for the 2001 Monterey Historic Races was Bentley. In the Bentley Pavilion was the 3rd place Le Man car.

These were the first black & white pictures taken in my new (old) Leica after a roll of test shots established where we are on exposure. I am very pleased with the tonal quality of these shots. The new Delta 400 processed in XTOL seems like a great combination.

From the podium legend:

"Bentley EXP Speed 8, taking the Bentley Boys back to the podium."


"The two Bently EXP Speed 8s were the the only fully enclosed prototypes to start the Le Mans 24 hour race in June, and they were also constructed in a way that is unique, even among 21st century sports car racers, reflecting the pioneering spirit of company founder W.O. Bentley"


"At the heart of the concept lies three hoops of carbon fibre. The largest of the trio surrounds the car behind the driver, the smallest goes around the pedal box, while the third central hoop encircles the car's structure roughly around the driver's knees. This, then, forms the platform onto which the fully stressed carbon-fibre body is attached to create a monocoque that is both exceptionally strong, stiff and light."


"Its twin turbo 3.6 liter V8 engine takes the EXP Speed 8 to a top speed in excess of 200 mph four times on each lap of the famous race circuit."


"A typical 1500 kg road saloon would require an engine developing in excess of 1000 bhp even to approach the power to weight ratio of the EXP Speed 8. The downforce generated by the aerodynamic package is equivalent to having the wight of a Bentley Arnage bolted to the roof!"

Last modified: Sun, 19-Aug-01 12:59:55 PDT