Electric Volkswagen smashes Sebastien Loeb's Pikes Peak record

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 course in under eight minutes

Electric Volkswagen smashes Sebastien Loeb's Pikes Peak record

Dumas' run at the Colorado course was delayed after an earlier competitor crashed, injuring a spectator, but still the 40-year-old feels he could have gone faster than his eventual 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 summit of Pikes Peak.

"I'm happy with this, but we could have gone quicker if that middle sector had been dry."

VW arrived in America chasing an electric vehicle record of 9m07.222s, 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%!"

Throughout the week VW 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.

Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets told Autosport: "I am so happy for this team and really proud of them. We all worked so hard for this.

"And for Romain, this is incredible - don't forget this was the first time he drove the whole course in this car. In testing, he never had a clean run from the bottom to the top."

Smeets admitted the event hadn't run completely to plan.

"Waiting for 45 minutes to start the run was so stressful," he said. "I don't want to go through that again. And then the timing went down and we had no sector times, it felt like it was taking one hour!

"But we set out to do this and, once again, we have shown that when we set out to do something, we do it right. Now, after this record, maybe we will look forward to the Autosport Awards!"

Volkswagen technical director Francois-Xavier Demaison added: "We knew we had the speed, but when we had some technical issues, things like how we were managing the battery, we learned a lot in the last few days.

"The magic of this race is that you don't know what you get from the mountain, but today it was OK.

"Romain took some risks to make this time - it's all out. This is a fantastic result.

"It was not possible for us to say when we arrived that we had come here to beat the time of Peugeot - but I'm glad we did!"

shares
comments
Pikes Peak Hillclimb harder than Le Mans 24 Hours - VW's Dumas
Previous article

Pikes Peak Hillclimb harder than Le Mans 24 Hours - VW's Dumas

Next article

Tickets on sale for revamped Autosport International 2019

Tickets on sale for revamped Autosport International 2019
Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past Plus

Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past

Rising sportscar star Adam Smalley had to pinch himself when offered the chance to drive the car that won the world’s most famous enduro in 1987

Historics
Sep 6, 2022
Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return Plus

Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return

The iconic Lola name is being relaunched after it was taken over by new ownership. Part of that reboot is a planned return to racing, though the exact details of this are still to be finalised - though its new owner does have a desire to bring the brand back to the Le Mans 24 Hours. But romanticism doesn't appear to be the driving force behind this renewed project...

General
Jul 14, 2022
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

General
Dec 10, 2021
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021