The timing of this occasion was significant, because 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of Bentley’s brilliant victory at Le Mans, 93 years after the marque last took the chequered flag at the famous 24-hour race with the Bentley Speed 6 in 1930 – completing a run of four wins in a row before withdrawing from motorsport altogether.
After 73 years away from racing, Bentley returned in 2001 with the EXP Speed 8. After a couple of years competing and coming up short against the dominant Audi R8s, Bentley worked hard to develop its closed-cockpit LMGTP racer and arrived at Le Mans in 2003 with an upgraded Speed 8. There would be no prisoners at the third attempt.
And here, we got to see this glorious car up and running once again in the hands of the man who drove it to victory 20 years ago. It doesn’t take long for Kristensen to get up to speed here, as he leaves the Continental GT in the dust and embarks on a monster lap that certainly looks and sounds like he’s getting pretty close to the limit. We’d like to know just how quickly he was going down the Lavant Straight, with that 4.0-litre V8 roaring away like it’s 2003 all over again.