STAND OF THE MONTH: Gearing up for return match

At the Geneva Motor show there was one stand of interest for British car enthusiasts.

At the Geneva Motor show there was one stand of interest for British car enthusiasts.

Bentley's motor racing past and future was reflected at this year's show on 1-11 March, with the news that it is to be competing in the 2001 Le Mans 24-hour race in France.

Furneaux Stewart used the motor-racing angle in its design of the Bentley stand. At the centre a circular area culminates with a banked section, similar to a track, with images of past Bentley triumphs at Le Mans and Brooklands. Facing that is the EXP Speed 8, Bentley's contender for this year's race, more than 70 years after the firm's last appearance.

'We chose the ascending curve - the power vortex - to express the energy, power and ambition of Bentley in the 21st century,' said Furneaux Stewart senior designer on the project James Whetter. 'The three cars were presented on the display as if they are taking a corner at high speed and launching off to a higher plane.'

Maximum focus was on the cars and their racing pedigree. With this in mind Furneaux Stewart chose to restrict the colour palette of stand materials and finishes. The power vortex, on which the cars sit, has a metallic finish containing a band with the Bentley graphic and the entire stand is a 'strong, architecturally pure shape'.

The design draws on Bentley's lineage and its ambitions for the future.

Combining the daredevil racing exploits of the past with the new challenger for this year, Bentley attracted interest from all generations.

Whether Bentley will rule over the competition at Le Mans - as it used to - remains to be seen. But its presence at Geneva has ensured plenty of publicity, helped by its unique looking stand.

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