In a nod to history, and as a demonstration of modern Bentley prowess, a Continental GT V8 S Convertible raced a Saudi Arabian passenger train from Riyadh to Damman.
The event marked 85 years since Bentley’s iconic ‘Blue Train’ run. In 1935, triple Le Mans winner Captain Woolf Barnato did a similar speed run from Cannes to Calais. The race also resulted in the creation of the Bentley Blue Train car.
Riyadh to Damman is a distance of close to 300 miles. The train is the only remaining form of public transport in Saudi Arabia that passes through the desert. The challenge also took place in mid-August, 2015, at a time when the weather in Riyadh would have been over 40 degrees.
Covering the same ground as the desert train took driver Steven Kane four hours and 14 minutes. Kane is a Bentley Team M-Sport member and true ‘Bentley Boy’. Other drivers may consider that a long time to drive – yet Kane ultimately beat the train to its destination by six minutes.
As he said afterwards: “Four hours is the same time as a stint at Le Mans. But this was far more stressful. The heat, the conditions, not knowing where the train was, while driving within the limits of the country’s regulations. It was a race like no other. I hope Barnato would be proud.”
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