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Bentley record breakers take on Goodwood hill

Historic models among the stars that will thrill 150,000 enthusiasts

Published: June 15, 2015, 7:00 AM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 1:53 PM

Actor Idris Elba celebrates setting the UK Flying Mile record in the Bentley Continental GT Speed. - Idris Elba with Flying Mile record setting Continental

Bentley will be attacking the hill at Goodwood with two historic models that set driving records 85 years apart.

At the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed (25-28 June), Bentley will feature the UK Flying Mile record holder Continental GT piloted by actor Idris Elba, and the 1930 Bentley with which Captain Woolf Barnato outraced the “Blue Train” from the French Riviera to the English Channel.

Elba — who lists Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, The Wire television series and the Thor films among his acting credits — drove a Spectre GT Speed at Pendine Sands in Wales, to break the historic “Flying Mile” UK land speed record set by Sir Malcolm Campbell in 1927.

The 1930 Bentley that outraced the Blue Train from the French Riviera to the English Channel. - 1930 Bentley Blue Train

In 1930, Barnato (then Chairman of Bentley Motors) was staying in Cannes when he accepted a wager to beat the Calais-Mediterranée Express (or “Blue Train”) back to Calais; he raised the ante by stating he could be at his club in London before the train even reached the Channel. He was, and the feat has resonated with Bentley enthusiasts since as one of the most famous Bentley Boy achievements.

The two famous Bentleys will be thrilling the expected 150,000 motoring enthusiasts at Goodwood’s iconic 1.16-mile hill climb, along with other famous Bentleys from the iconic 1929 4 ½ Litre Blower, to the modern Continental GT3 racer and its street-legal derivative, the Continental GT3-R.