In 2007, four-time world rally champion Juha Kankkunen shattered the world ice speed record by achieving an average two way speed on a 1000m long straight on the frozen waters of the Baltic Sea, off the coast of Finland, of 199.86 mph (321.6 km/h) in a Bentley Continental GT. Fast forward to 2011, and Kankkunen has done it again breaking his own record at the same location with a Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible. This time, Kankkunen surpassed the 200mph mark reaching a top speed of 205.48 mph (330.695 km/h).
“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,” said Kankkunen.
“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.”
As was the case with the previous record-breaking drive in the Continental GT, Kankkunen and his team used a regular car with some minimum modifications including a heavy-duty safety roll-cage, along with Pirelli winter tyres (Pirelli SottoZero II 275/40R20) and a rear bumper-mounted parachute, plus front and rear spoilers
[From Bentley Press Release]
JUHA KANKKUNEN: BRIEF CV
- Juha Matti Pellervo Kankkunen, born 1959 in Laukaa, Finland
- One of the most experienced rally drivers of all times
- Four times rally World Champion (1986, 1987, 1991, 1993)
- 23 times World Rally Winner
- Started his career in 1978
- First World Rally win in 1985 (Safari Rally)
- Won Dakar Rally in 1988
- World ice speed record in 2007, in a Bentley Continental GT
HISTORY OF WORLD ICE SPEED RECORDS
- 2011: Bentley Continental Supersports convertible: 205.48 mph (330.695 km/h) driven by Juha Kankkunen
- 2007: Bentley Continental GT: 199.83 mph (321.6 km/h) driven by Juha Kankkunen
- 1995: Bugatti EB110 Supersport: 184 mph (296 km/h)
BENTLEY’S EARLY HISTORY OF RECORD BREAKING
- 1924: John Duff in a Bentley 3-litre took records at Brooklands between 87mph (139.7 km/h) and 93 mph (149.3 km/h) and a Double-Twelve race victory at 86.69 mph (139.2 km/h)
- 1925: A Bentley 3-litre established a 24-hrs record at Montlhery at an average speed of 95 mph (152.9 km/h).
- 1927: The 24-hrs Grand Prix de Paris at Montlhery was won by a Bentley 41/2 –litre at an average speed of 52.5 mph (84.5 km/h)
- 1928: A Bentley 3-litre driven by Dudley Froy became the first car to average more than 115 mph (185.1 km/h) over a distance of 100 miles (160.9 km) at Brooklands
- 1929: Mrs Victor Bruce drove solo in a Bentley 41/2-litre at Montlhery to set a Class C record at over 89mph (143.2 km/h)
- 1932: Tim Birkin in a Birkin blower single seater broke the Brooklands Outer Circuit lap record with a speed of 137.96 mph (221.47 km/h)
- 1934: Walter Hassan in a Barnato – Hassan single seater set a new Brooklands Outer Circuit record of 142.6 mph (228.9 km/h). It achieved a faster lap time of 143.11 mph (230.3 km).