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For those with a passion for speed and the nerve to put their driving skills to the ultimate test, get ready for Bentley's Power on Ice adventure.
In February Bentley will return to the frozen far north of Finland - where it has already set two ice speed driving records with four-times World Rally Champion Juha Kankkunen - to give its guests a chance to drive the six-litre 425kW Continental GT and 465kW Continental Supersports coupés on one of the world's most unusual and challenging test tracks.
Senior Bentley Driving instructor Peter Barnes explained: “The circuits are crafted from snow and ice and are unlike any other track or road you've ever seen before.
“Power on Ice mixes the pure exhilaration of slaloming a two-and-a-half-tonne Bentley on a purpose-built course or taking a spin around a 'figure of eight' track, with the opportunity to learn ice-driving techniques from a personal instructor, that will enable drivers to handle their cars with confidence even in the harshest weather conditions.'
Bentley's record-breaking exploits in Finland provided the inspiration for this very special driving experience. In February 2011, Finnish motorsport legend Juha Kankkunen, driving the all-wheel drive Continental Supersports Convertible on the frozen Baltic Sea, achieved a speed of 330.695km/h, breaking his own ice speed record of 321.6km/h set in 2007 in a Continental GT.
Barnes said: “As well as drawing inspiration from Juha's world records, Bentley engineers and professional drivers have used Finland's extreme conditions to enhance the safety and handling of our cars.
“We've got a lot of knowledge and expertise to share but the accent for Power on Ice will always be on fun and taking part in something far more memorable than a normal skiing holiday.”
The Bentley Continental, he says, is ideally suited for winter driving thanks to its all-wheel drive system with Torsen centre differential. The default power split has a 40:60 rear bias for sporting handling and exciting mid-corner acceleration, but the system can adjust the power split instantaneously between the front and rear wheels depending on the available grip.
New oilburning pots are as fast, more reliable and more economical than turpentine engines. I am placing my order for the first Bentley Continental GT (hard-top convertable now. Neon green.
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