Images above and below; James Holland, Motorsport.com
Sunday, June 24
from DAVID EVANS
Volkswagen’s electric I.D. R has smashed Sebastien Loeb’s Pikes Peak International Hillclimb record – with Romain Dumas becoming the first driver to make the 12.42-mile (19.99km) course in under eight minutes. The Frenchman’s run at the Colorado course was delayed after an earlier competitor crashed, injuring a spectator, before the 40-year-old set a time of 7m57.148s.
Prior to Sunday, Loeb’s 2013 record in a 3.2-litre twin-turbo Peugeot 208 had stood at 8m13.878s. “I had some fog and it was quite humid with some damp in the second section,” Dumas said from the 14,115ft (4300m) summit of Pikes Peak. “I’m happy with this, but we could have gone quicker if that middle sector had been dry.”
The German manufacturer arrived in America chasing an electric vehicle record of 8m57.118s, but early qualifying times indicated the potential for an outright record. Ahead of Sunday’s run, Dumas was in confident mood – asked how sure he was of Rhys Millen’s EV record he said: “120 per cent!” But Loeb’s time was the bigger question. Throughout the week Volkswagen played down talk of going below eight minutes, but in the end the only difficulty came with the weather, with cloud moving in and across the mountain and the threat of rain.
Ultimately the rain held off, but the run was hindered by cloud.
“I am so happy for this team and really proud of them. We all worked so hard for this.” Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets told Motorsport.com
The video below is Tony Quinn’s attempt last July and gives you a serious idea of the Pikes Peak challenge.
EDITED by AC