Le Mans’ original Bentley Boy, John Duff was famed for his determination, setting over fifty world records for speed and endurance. Perhaps Duff’s most lasting achievement, however, was convincing W.O. to take part in the very first Le Mans 24 Hours in 1923. Duff seized Bentley’s first win in 1924.
Dr. J.D. Benjafield, known as ‘Benjy’, was a Harley Street specialist with a passion for motorsports. Competing for the sheer pleasure of driving and the thrill of the race, he made his name as a highly accomplished driver. He took part in Le Mans 24 Hours seven times, winning the infamous 1927 race.
Considered “the best driver we ever had” by W.O., ‘Babe’ Barnato remains the only driver to have won on each occasion of entering Le Mans 24 Hours – securing three back-to-back wins from 1928 to 1930. Barnato’s commitment to Bentley also went far beyond the racetrack: from 1925, he served as company chairman.
A formidable personality, Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin, was an ex-fighter pilot renowned for excesses both on and off the track. He drove in a white drill helmet, goggles and silk scarf – but stood out even more for his willingness to be utterly ruthless with his car to achieve a result. His efforts paid off in his 1929 win.
Glen Kidston was an ex-naval officer who specialised in miraculous escapes. By the time he joined the Bentley team, he’d survived several close calls both in air and at sea, contributing to his reputation as “a born adventurer: rough, tough, sharp and fearless”. Kidston claimed 1st place at Le Mans in 1930.
With an impressive list of wins already to his name, Guy Smith was a central figure in Team Bentley’s attack at the historic 2003 Le Mans 24 Hours. Guy piloted the Bentley Speed 8, car No. 7, across the finish line to claim Bentley’s emotional sixth victory at the event, securing his place in racing legend.