Four-time World Rally champion Juha Kankkunen, has added another feather in his cap. On February 17th, the 51-year old Finnish driver shattered the World Speed record, by pushing a Bentley Supersports Convertible to an astonishing 205.48 mph (330.695km/hr) for over a kilometer - on the frozen waters of the Baltic Sea, off the coast of Finland.
In the expert hands of Mr. Kannkunen, the powerful all-wheel drive, 600 horsepower, 12-cylinder engine sports car, revved up to a speed of 200 km/hr, just 5km into the specially built ice track. His record, ratified by the officials from the Guinness Book Of Records, was based on the average of two runs, completed in opposite directions.
While he made it look easy, he was not only battling negative 30 degree temperatures, but also, potential snow blizzards, possibility of dangerous crosswinds and most dangerous of all, a crack in the 70cm thick layer of the ice track. However, things went like clockwork, and the Finnish driver managed to break his own 2007 ice speed record of 199.83mph (321.6km/hr), quite easily.
The best part is that the Bentley Supersports was minimally modified for this endeavor. The only extras were a heavy duty safety roll cage, Pirelli winter tires and a parachute mounted on the rear bumper, to help the car from skidding out of control at the end. Even better, is the fact that this powerful car was running completely on bio-fuel!
The folks at Bentley are of course thrilled at the great performance of the car and plan to celebrate by manufacturing a limited edition of just 100 cars of Extreme Bentley - It's most powerful model to-date. While there is no word on how much the car will cost, they do promise a preview at the Geneva Motor Show, on March 1st.
Resources: Gizmag.com, life.nationalpost.com