(Crewe, 22 June 2023) The most famous race car of the modern Bentley era, the 2003 Speed 8, made its return to Le Mans recently to take part in the centenary celebrations of the ultimate motorsport marathon – the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The dynamic demonstration of the highly popular fan-favourite precedes the return of a new Works Bentley to Le Mans, with a pair of Blower Continuation Series cars to compete at this year’s Le Mans Classic.
The very same car that won the race in 2003 – Speed 8 chassis 004/5 – took to the track as part of a centenary parade. It was piloted by Guy Smith, the same driver who took the chequered flag 20 years ago, as the car turned a wheel at the circuit for the first time since. After being reunited with the car and completing two laps of the circuit, Guy commented:
“This car delivered Bentley’s first Le Mans victory since 1930, and became the springboard for my racing career, and so it’s incredibly special to me. While I’ve driven it a couple of times since 2003, this is the first time it’s been back to Le Mans and driving it here brought back so many memories and emotions. It feels exactly the same as it did when it crossed the line 20 years ago. Bentley is part of Le Mans, and Le Mans is part of Bentley, and it was an amazing weekend of celebrations of 100 years of history here.”