When you hear 'Bentley,' you think of the current road-going lineup as luxurious, expensive, hard to miss. What about Le Mans? You probably think: speed, endurance and excitement. Combine the two together and you get race wins and long absences.
The above video chronicles the story behind Bentley at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With a history stretching back to 1923, Le Mans was joined by the British marque for the very first race. Bentley participated from series start to 1930. It won five times before retiring. But a 70 year absence wasn't enough to keep the automaker away. Making a return in 2001, Bentley worked tirelessly to repeat what they did over 70 years ago.
The first attempt landed them a 3rd place finish, which for the automaker, was only the beginning. 2002 would be used primarily as a testing year, only running one car. That car ran with a 4-liter direct injection engine. Even with the fourth place finish, the team still looked to the next year for a better result. 2003, driver Guy Smith achieved that result and drove the Le Mans Bentley to the finish, leading the field. And almost like repeating the past, Bentley left the series on top.
Watch to videos end to see what Bentley hopes could be another Le Mans comeback.