It all seemed like a storyline for the perfect action movie! A high-end luxury sportscar racing against a train amidst the sand dunes of Saudi Arabia, trying to imitate a similar duel that took place 85 years ago, between the same car manufacturer, and a train. Yes, it does seem like a setup of a perfect action movie, though, this happened in reality, with Bentley racing against a train.
The video was shot to pay tribute to the similar tussle, that took place 85 years ago in 1930. Three times Le Mans winner, Captain Woolf Barnato raced against the Blue Train that travels between the English Channel from Cannes to Calais, and was fast enough to beat the train by 4 minutes. Barnato drove for well over 917 kms at an average speed of 70 kmph.
While Barato completed the race in much adverse conditions, the recent recreations of the event was no less stressful. Despite the unforgiving heat, camels on the road and dust storm every now and then, Steven Kane, the Bentley Team M-Sport race driver, who was driving a Bentley Continental GT V8 S, beats the train by a good 6 minute margin.
The race was against Saudi Arabia’s only desert passenger train, called the Blue train, that runs from the Riyadh railway station (deep in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula) to the Damman railway station in the Arabian Gulf, completing a journey of 480 kms. Kane completed the race in 4 hours and 14 minutes, reaching the destination in his Continental GT six minutes earlier to the train.
Speaking about his experience of racing against the train in hot Saudi Arabia, Steven Kane said, "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."
To give you a brief insight, the Bentley Continental GT V8 S is powered by a 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 engine that produces 520 bhp of maximum power and 680 Nm of torque. It does 0-100 kmph in 4.7 seconds and has a maximum speed of 308 kmph. We doubt that it would have gone down when raced against the train.