Historic Bentleys Continue Centenary Celebrations at Goodwood

By Paul Joseph

British luxury carmaker Bentley continued its centenary celebrations at the 77th Goodwood Members’ Meeting this weekend.

The event featured a number of iconic Bentley cars on the starting grid, bringing the sights and sounds of the company’s illustrious motor racing past to life.

Headlining the weekend was the Speed 8 – Bentley’s iconic Le Mans car. The Speed 8 ran alongside other Le Mans prototypes for the first time since 2003, with two of the original Bentley drivers, Guy Smith and Tom Kristensen, returning to the driver’s seat.

Bentley’s 100 extraordinary years were also remembered in the John Duff Trophy race, a new event for pre-1930 vintage racing cars. Duff was the original ‘Bentley Boy’, and the man that initiated the marque’s now synonymous relationship with Le Mans. He was the first driver to win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Bentley, claiming the title in 1924.

Bentley returned to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2001 for a three-year campaign following a lengthy absence, culminating in victory in 2003. Tom Kristensen and Guy Smith, two of the six men who drove the winning Speed 8 at Le Mans that year, also took part in two 15-minute Le Mans Prototype demonstration runs at Goodwood.

The Goodwood Members’ Meeting was one of a year-long series of special activities, with celebrations at events around the world to highlight Bentley’s motoring evolution over the last 100 years.

By Paul Joseph