This year marks the third season for Bentley’s campaign in the Pirelli World Challenge, a fiercely competitive GT3 sports car racing series in North America. At first blush, Bentley’s opulent road cars look better suited to cruising down Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills than to rubbing fenders on the hairpin at the circuit in Long Beach, Calif. But Bentley has a rich racing history; the marque first won Le Mans in 1924 with the Bentley 3-Litre Super Sport, a 70-horsepower car that weighed nearly two tons.

Times have changed, but Bentley marketing director James Pillar, who previously worked for Ferrari, says the brand was ripe for going back to the track.

“Back in 2011, we were seen as a little traditional by the new customers,” Pillar says. “We needed to contemporize.”

Excerpted from Robb Report online. Read the full article at: