2003 Bentley Speed 8

Images copyright and courtesy Bob Chapman @ Autosport Image and Juha Kivekas
Text and images copyright Michael J. Fuller

Concerns over rear brake cooling at Sebring 2003 led Bentley to install ad-hoc strakes on the rear bodywork in order to grab more air for the brake ducts.  Note the additional tail light in the trailing edge of the cockpit bobble. 
Added in the field, the strakes are simply bent aluminum pieces riveted onto the bodywork.  The NACA brake cooling duct also had an additional scoop added.
At Sebring 2003, the Bentley had a technical infraction and was forced to start from the back of the field.  The infraction was caused by irregularities in the surface of the flat bottom caused by heating of the engine exhaust distorting the flat floor.  The floor is the reference plane for all height dimensions and the distortions caused the floor to be lower by as much as 4 mm in some areas.  This in turn effected the height dimension of the rear diffuser when measured off the floor.  The result was that the rear diffuser measured 154 mm from the flat floor not the legal 150 mm.  To solve this problem, Bentley inserted a plywood filler piece in the diffuser to reduce the overall height at the trailing edge by the out-of-spec. 4 mm.
It was only a matter of time before Bentley developed their own deep rear wing endplates.  At Le Mans 2003, the race winning #7 Bentley Speed 8 ran with the deep rear wing endplates whereas the sister #8 car went without.  Apparently the difference in aero. forces between the two was minimal, the deep endplates generating slightly more downforce while the standard endplates had less drag.

©Copyright 2003, Michael J. Fuller