Finland’s four-time world rally champion Juha Kankkunen drove a Bentley Continental Supersports convertible on the hazardous frozen waters of the Baltic Sea, off the coast of Finland, at a top speed of 330.695km/h (205.48mph) to set a new world speed record on ice.
The all-wheel drive, 6.0 liter, 12-cylinder Continental Supersports convertible ran on E85 biofuel. Juha shattered his own 2007 world ice speed record of 321.6km/h (199.83mph) set in the Continental GT at the same location. The record attempt was driven on a 1,000m long measured distance with the speed certified by officials from the Finland Traffic Police. His new world record was based on the average of two runs in opposite directions with measured speeds ratified by a representative of The Guinness Book of Records.
The last time, I narrowly missed the magical 200 mph mark in a Continental GT. When I heard about the Supersports I was determined to go record breaking again with the Bentley Boys. This time, with over 600bhp under the bonnet, a Quickshift transmission and the security of the all-wheel drive system, the Supersports convertible was the perfect car to go for the record. 200mph came up after 5km on sheet ice. Then it was just a question of getting everything right in the timing zone and hoping the snow kept away. There’s nothing to beat driving a Bentley at these speeds; the conditions may be perilous but the car responds so well to the slightest adjustment which gives you the confidence to push even harder.
Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bentley’s new Chairman and Chief Executive, said:
The ice speed record is an amazing feat by Juha Kankkunen, whose skill and courage in extreme conditions truly make him one of the modern-day Bentley Boys. We will be celebrating this achievement with a very special ‘extreme’ Bentley, which will be the most powerful model ever to bear the famed Winged B emblem.
A limited edition of just 100 examples of this most extreme Bentley will be made and the car will make its global debut at the Geneva Motor Show on 1st March.