Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Dumas, Ford win Pikes Peak despite stopping on course

Ford's latest electric demonstrator triumphed at Pikes Peak with Romain Dumas after an early glitch forced him into an unplanned reboot

Romain Dumas, 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning SuperTruck

Romain Dumas, 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning SuperTruck

Romain Dumas took his fifth outright victory in the famous Pikes Peak hillclimb aboard Ford's F-150 Lightning SuperTruck electric demonstrator, despite briefly coming to a halt and having to restart.

Dumas explained that the glitch, which required him to perform a power cycle, had never happened previously in the prototype's development and is estimated to have cost around 26s.

But the Frenchman's time of 8m53.553s on the 12.42-mile course, which fell slightly short of his 8m47.682s ascent in 2023 aboard Ford's SuperVan 4.2, was still good enough to set the fastest overall time of the 61 entries.

Dumas, who holds the outright course record of 7m57.148s from 2018 with the Volkswagen I.D. R, admitted that it "was quite stressful I have to say, I think the most stressful so far I had since I'm here in Pikes Peak".

"I don't know what happened at the start, just the car switched off completely on its own, it never happened before," he told Pikes Peak's YouTube channel.

The two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner revealed that there followed some confusion once he had restarted about whether he'd be able to complete his run to the summit 4,302m above sea level.

"On the radio, they were telling me that it was red flag, because I assume they saw that I was stopped on track," he explained.

Romain Dumas, 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning SuperTruck

Romain Dumas, 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning SuperTruck

Photo by: Ford Performance

"But I already restarted so I didn't know if I should stop or not. There was a little bit confusion, but at the first split, I know exactly which time I should have.

"I saw that I was 26 seconds, compared my provision [qualifying time] slower. So I said, 'OK, I need just to push and should be ok'. So I catch some seconds."

Dumas, who scored his first Pikes Peak win in 2014 before conquering the race to the clouds in 2016, 2017 and 2018 added: "Pikes Peak is so difficult because you have one shot, only one chance, one run. And if you have a small issue, or a big issue, you can lose everything.

"We prepared everything perfect. In two years, this is the first time that this problem is coming, I don't know why.

"By chance, I was reading all the procedures and I arrived to restart the car; so at this time I was quite happy that last night I was reading again what I should do in case of [an] issue!"

The F-150 Lightning SuperTruck, co-developed by Austrian company STARD, produces over 1600 horsepower and runs on bespoke Pirelli P-Zero tyres.

It is the latest product of the Blue Oval's strategy in developing demonstrators outside the regulations of existing electric racing championships, as it continues to build towards its return to Formula 1 in collaboration with Red Bull in 2026.

Its four-pronged motorsport strategy is completed by off-road disciplines including the World Rally Championship and from 2025 the Dakar Rally, and its programmes with Mustangs in GT3, GT4, Australian Supercars and NASCAR.

"The progression of Ford EV’s taking on and completing the toughest challenges is a major testament to the hard work and dedication our teams have put into the programme," remarked Ford Performance Motorsports global director Mark Rushbrook.

Romain Dumas, 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning SuperTruck

Romain Dumas, 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning SuperTruck

Photo by: Ford Performance

"We learned a great deal from SuperVan 4.2 in last year’s Pikes Peak International hill climb and were able to apply that knowledge to this year’s run. It’s onwards and upwards from here."

"To achieve this amazing feat was no small effort," said Sriram Pakkam, Formula 1 & High-Performance EV Manager at Ford Performance Motorsports.

"This was a true team effort across the board from our super-talented aerodynamicists to our powertrain specialists.

"We also had to work as a team to sweat the details such as keeping the weight down while maximising the downforce and I think the team did a fantastic job."

Meanwhile, Hyundai World Rally Championship driver Dani Sordo won the Exhibition class. The Spaniard's IONIQ 5 N TA, also electric-powered, set a time of 9m30.852s.

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article European Rally Championship set for Solberg head to head
Next article From open-heart surgery to rally stages – how Kovalainen overcame his "biggest challenge"

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe