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Rally driver pilots Bentley Supersports to record-breaking 205 mph... on ice!

by Andrew Ganz

High speed on ice: A Bentley Supersports was coaxed to a world-beating 205 mph on a solid ice surface in Finland.

Don't try this one at home this winter: A Bentley driving team led by Finnish four-time world rally champ Juha Kankkunen has broken the world speed record on ice by hitting 205.48 mph - in a convertible.

Kankkunen piloted a 2011 Bentley Continental Supersports convertible running on ethanol-based biofuel in remote Oulu, Finland. Kankkunen previously set the record in 2007 at 199.83 mph in a Continental GT.

"The last time, I narrowly missed the magical 200 mph mark in a Continental GT," Kankkunen said in a release. "When I heard about the Supersports, I was determined to go record breaking again with the Bentley Boys. This time, with over 600 horsepower under the bonnet, a Quickshift transmission and the security of the all-wheel drive system, the Supersports convertible was the perfect car to go for the record."

Kankkunen hit 200 mph after 5 kilometers on the sheet ice in Oulu, where temperatures hovered around -22 Fahrenheit. A 10.25 mile track was shoveled out of the 27.5-inch thick ice. To qualify for the record, Kankkunen drove the Supersports 3,280 feet - or 1,000 meters - at over 205 mph. A Guinness Book of Records representative certified the speed, which was measured by the Finland Traffic Police.

The Continental Supersports is Bentley's highest-performance model, putting out 620 horsepower from a twin-turbocharged W-configuration 12-cylinder engine. The car was lightly modified with a heavy duty roll cage for safety and Pirelli SottoZero II winter tires, as well as a rear bumper-mounted parachute. Additional front and rear spoilers were added to increase traction on the slippery surface.

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