Well here is another auction for a more recent Le Mans racer, this time its the 2001 Bentley Speed 8 and has the following racing pedigree.
• First Team Bentley to finish on the podium at Le Mans in 71 years
• Third Place at 2001 24 Hour of Le Mans
• Last raced at Road America in 2007
The inspiration for the successful Bentley Speed 8 program belongs to Dr. Ferdinand Piech, the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, who designed the Audi’s “Auto Union” Grand Prix cars in the 1930s.
As chairman of Volkswagen, Piech directed the acquisition of Bentley in June 1998, but he had been the guiding force on the Porsche 917 program, which had won Le Mans in 1970 and 1971. Piech also worked on the formidable Audi Quattro rally car and thought that Audi should enter sports car racing.
In 1998, Piech commissioned Italian contractor Dallara to build a sports racer to use the Audi 3.6-liter turbocharged V-8, mid-mounted in a carbon fiber tub. The car became the Audi R8 roadster, which would enjoy a spectacular competition record, losing only 16 races in which it was entered, between 2000 and 2006.
Piech decided that Bentley’s racing heritage should be revived and it should have a parallel course to Audi, competing in the closed LMP GTP class at Le Mans, while Audi would contest the LMP 900 open division. The Audi R8C Coupe would evolve into the Bentley EXP Speed 8 Coupe, the car which is on offer today.
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